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      Police increase security for Mackinac Bridge Walk

      T housands of people crossed the Mackinac Bridge this morning for one of Michigan's most popular Labor Day events.

      T he 56th annual bridge walk drew nearly 40,000 participants from around the country.

      A nd with so many people in attend a nce , the Bridge Authority took extra security measures this year to keep the public safe.

      " This year we inspected every backpack , every large bag that people were carrying across ," Bob Sweeney, Bridge Authority Executive Secretary said. "W e also set up additional security checkpoint as they were approaching the bridge ."

      A n extra precaution that is new this year , in response to the Boston marathon bombings that rattled the nation in April.

      T he Bridge Authority felt like this was a simple step that would ensure the safety of the tens of thousands that cross the bridge for this event.

      " You know it's too bad the world has to come to this , b ut I'm glad they're taking measures to protect us ," Mark Stuber, bridge walk participant said.

      A s soon as you made it through the quick security check , you could start the five mile trip from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City.

      L eading the walk was Governor Rick Snyder, who clocked a personal best 57 minutes. Six minutes faster than last year.

      " It's one of those things that when you look around the country whe re will you find tens of thousands of people coming together to do something fun and exciting," Governor Snyder said.

      M any michigan families have made the Mackinac Bridge walk an annual tradition.

      W hether it be your first or your 56th , the experience is one you'll be sure to remember.

      " It's great to be out early in the morning and stand in line and be upfront and it's just a great time," AnneMarie Meisner, bridge walk participant said.