🔒 Insider Debates results: Michigan’s ‘Up North’ begins at Zilwaukee Bridge

Most viewers say Zilwaukee Bridge, but not all agree


What we thought was a hot newsroom debate proved to be a pretty heated debate everywhere: Many Michiganders feel strongly about where “Up North” begins to them. (Hey, we get it.)

Through our new Insider Debates series, we asked for your take on the issue to help us settle the newsroom debate once and for all. And more than 1,400 of you responded!

Here’s what Insiders had to say.

Zilwaukee Bridge takes the cake

The majority of our respondents -- 34.8% -- said that “Up North” begins once they cross the Zilwaukee Bridge just north of Saginaw.

The huge bridge, which also has a complex history, is more than 8,000 feet in length, spanning the Saginaw River.

I, personally, don’t support this take, but the people have spoken -- and many in the newsroom do agree with the majority opinion reached here.

** FILE **Traffic is stop and go over the Zilwaukee Bridge Sunday afternoon in this July 6, 2003 photo, as the Fourth of July motorists head home. (AP Photo/Michael Hollenbeck/The Saginaw News (AP2003)

Still, the responses from our Insiders were pretty split. Here’s how the other choices fared:

  • 2nd place: West Branch, 27.2%
  • 3rd place: Other, 17.4%
  • 4th place: North of Flint/Grand Rapids, 13.2%
  • 5th place: Upper Peninsula only, 7.4%
Insider Debates: Responses to "Where does 'Up North' in Michigan start?" as of May 24, 2022. (WDIV)

The ‘other’ responses

While the Zilwaukee Bridge and West Branch options were the most popular, 17.4% of respondents (251 people) had their own take outside of the options we provided.

A majority of those who offered additional input, however, had similar ideas. Here are some of the most common responses for the “other” category:

Do you agree with these results? Let us know in the comments below!

Introducing Insider Debates!

There are a lot of us here in the Local 4 newsroom, and you can bet we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Whether it’s about food, pop culture or destinations, our newsroom debates can get pretty heated (usually just in jest ... usually).

So, we’ve decided to launch a new series that allows our most loyal viewers to offer their input and help us settle these debates once and for all. Not everyone in the newsroom will accept the majority opinion, but here’s hoping this series can bring us all some peace and closure.

We hope you had fun this first round! We’ll have more debates for you coming soon -- stay tuned.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.