"Father of Mackinac Bridge" dies at 97


The man known as the father of the Mackinac Bridge, Lawrence A. Rubin, has died.

As Mike Horace reports, Rubin served as the bridge's first Executive Secretary, and later documented the history of the Mighty Mac in print.

Lawrence Rubin was with the Mackinac Bridge from the very beginning. He was appointed Executive Secretary of the bridge in 1950, seven years before the span opened to traffic. He would hold that position until 1983.

Bob Sweeney is the bridge's current executive secretary. He says Rubin came up with the idea for the annual Labor Day Bridge walk -- an event he participated in until last year.

"Mr. Rubin, last year, his son pushed him on a wheelchair across the bridge," he says. "He would sign his books at the end, and it raises funds for a local charity."

Rubin penned two books about the bridge in retirement, and was involved with several area charities.

He passed away in St. Ignace Tuesday morning, following a brief illness. He was 97.

A public memorial service for Rubin is being planned for sometime after Memorial Day. Details are still being finalized.