The Mackinac Bridge reopened Sunday evening after an hours-long closure for a bomb scare in the afternoon.
With the bridge closed, weekend traffic backed up into Mackinaw City and Saint Ignace.
Locals in Mackinaw City said the village was gridlocked with travelers who couldn’t cross the bridge.
“They’re all backed up through town everywhere, all the side streets, everywhere,” said Vanessa Van Orman, a host at Audie’s Restaurant in Mackinaw City.
“The only vehicles I can see anywhere near the bridge are emergency vehicles: police, fire trucks, all of that.”
Workers in the village said their usually brisk Sunday business slowed to a trickle while the span was closed.
“We’re kind of empty right now,” said Van Orman. “We’re probably anticipating once these people get sick of sitting in their cars, we’ll have a heavy dinner rush.”
Some people were stuck in their cars for the duration of the closure. Others, like Anthony Doerr, had just enough time to divert from the traffic jam.
“We were eight minutes from the bridge when we heard about it being shut down,” Doerr said. “We were able to turn around. We got a pasty and went to the casino in St. Ignace.”
When police gave the all-clear just after 5 p.m., the span reopened, but people making the trip across said they moved at a crawl. The Coast Guard also reportedly closed shipping traffic under the bridge and reopened it when police signaled it was safe.
As the bridge re-opened, the Mackinac Bridge Authority said in a tweet a thorough search of the span turned up nothing dangerous.
Michigan State Police said the Mackinaw City Police Department was leading the investigation, and state police were offering assistance. Mackinaw City police did not immediately respond to requests for more information.