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Feb 16, 1:12 PM EST

Big changes planned for 2018 edition of Mackinac Bridge Walk

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) -- Big changes are planned for the 2018 edition of the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority voted Friday to have the 5-mile (8-kilometer) Labor Day walk begin at both ends of the bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. Participants can turn around after 2 miles (4 kilometers) - eliminating the need for buses to take people back across.

Participants will start in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. The authority says participants will have the option to continue across the entire bridge, but they'll need to walk back or make transportation arrangements.

The bridge was closed to most vehicles during last year's walk at the request of the federal Department of Homeland Security and Michigan State Police for security reasons, but participation was down. Officials say they want to make the event accessible while keeping it secure.

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