2015-03-05 / Front Page

New Building Planned Near Mackinac Bridge

Heavy vehicles designed to respond to threats such as terrorist attacks will be housed at a new building to be built by fall 2015 behind the Michigan State Police post in St. Ignace. The Mackinac Bridge Authority is working with the state police to design a six bay, 100-foot-long-by-50-foot-wide structure. The heated building will also contain the police dive team’s Sea Ark and Whaler rescue boats and trailers. The cost of the new facility will be established by the time the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) meets Thursday, July 9, at Mackinac Island.

Equipment will be deployed from the building to handle threats to the bridge or other local areas. Having the equipment on site help make the area safer, said MBA Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney.

The facility will contain a Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle capable of carrying several people. Bearcats are intended for dangerous urban areas and military use. The facility will also contain a large vehicle intended for specialized response teams, called a negotiator van, and a Ford F550. The state police have these vehicles on hand during the Mackinac Bridge Walk each Labor Day but now they will be housed on site.

The MBA will use savings to pay for the new building and lease it to the state police for 40 years. To be located behind the tree line to the west of the state police post, the new building will not obstruct the view of the bridge or the Straits of Mackinac from I-75.

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