Veterans' Glass City Skyway
|Veterans' Glass City Skyway|
|Official name||Veterans' Glass City Skyway|
|Carries||6 lanes of I-280|
|Maintained by||Ohio Department of Transportation|
|Total length||8,800 feet (2,682 m)|
|Height||400 feet (122 m)|
|Longest span||612 feet (187 m) (2x)|
|Vertical clearance||130 feet (40 m)|
|Opened||June 24, 2007|
The Veterans' Glass City Skyway, commonly referred to as the Toledo Skyway Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge on Interstate 280 in Toledo, Ohio. After many delays, it opened in 2007. The bridge has supplanted traffic and removed associated delays from the nearby bascule bridge known as the Craig Memorial Bridge, which until its transfer to local control was one of the last remaining moveable bridges on the Interstate highway system. It was Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) biggest single construction project in history.
The ODOT and the city of Toledo began planning the bridge in April 1999, and construction began in 2001. The project consisted of building an 8,800 foot (2,700 m) span across the Maumee River low-lying land. The main span over the Maumee River is a cable-stayed type bridge with a single pylon and two spans 612'-6" (200 m) on each side of the pylon. The main span approaches are approximately 4,000 feet (1,220 m) north of the river and 3,350 feet (1,020 m) south of the Maumee. The bridge opened to traffic on June 24, 2007.
The bridge carries three lanes of traffic in each direction. The road surface reaches a height of 130 feet (40 m) above the surface of the Maumee River. The bridge is the most expensive project ever undertaken by ODOT, costing approximately US$237 million.
The main attraction of the bridge is the single pylon which contains 384 light emitting diode (LED) fixtures that are capable of creating 16.7 million potential color combinations. The LEDs shine through all the glass facing on all four sides of upper 196' feet of the main pylon. These lights should be visible from up to 3 miles (5 km) away.
The community selected a "glass" theme for the bridge design, choosing to honor the region's heritage in the glass manufacturing industry. The bridge was designed by Figg Bridge Engineers, Inc. for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The bridge is one of two installations of a new cable-stayed cradle system that eliminates anchorages in the pylon by carrying the stays from anchorages in the bridge deck, through the pylon and back to anchorages in the deck. The cradle system provides many benefits during construction and over the 100+ year service life of the bridge. Each strand acts independently, allowing for the selective removal, inspection and replacement of the strands.
The supplanted Craig Bridge was named in memory of Second Lieutenant Robert Craig, World War II veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor. Veterans' groups originally opposed any name that did not memorialize Lt. Craig. As a compromise, the name "Veterans' Glass City Skyway" was selected for the new bridge, honoring all veterans, while the Craig Bridge remains in place, carrying a rerouted State Route 65. While under construction, the bridge was generically referred to as the "Maumee River Crossing".
On August 31, 2013, on the East Toledo side of the Maumee River, a man crashed his car and jumped from the bridge to the rocks below committing suicide. The incident is the first known case of a person going over the side of the Skyway since its opening in 2007.
The bridge has had a history of ice falling from its cables, prompting lane closures. This condition was considered in the design process, but deemed too unlikely to occur.
Gantry crane collapse
The original timeline put the completion date in May 2006, but that became impossible when the gantry truss responsible for construction of the main span collapsed on February 16, 2004. The collapse killed four workers and injured four others. On top of that, main line production was all but halted for 16 months after the accident. Though two new cranes were quickly brought in, testing them took months and operations were slower than expected due to increased oversight of the project by OSHA following the accident.
Failure of work platform
At around 9:15 a.m. EST on April 19, 2007, Andrew Burris of Curtice, Ohio, a member of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 1138, died when the construction platform he was on became detached and fell from the bridge. The platform was anchored to the northbound side of the bridge, and broke off, falling about 95 feet to the ground, where the platform, still carrying Burris, landed on the east side of the roadway. Authorities from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have not determined why the platform broke free from the bridge, and the Toledo Police Department does not suspect foul play.
"On behalf of Director Beasley and the Ohio Department of Transportation, we extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Andrew Burris," said ODOT District 2 director, Dave Dysard. "We also extend our condolences to his relatives, friends and his fellow workers who have made us proud through their commitment and dedication to their work. Andrew was a part of the team that took the pylon to the top back in 2005. For four-and-a-half years, he was an integral part of the team that worked to complete this vital link for our community."
Burris was from a line of carpenters, and kept a scrapbook of the project. His mother, Ruth, was quoted as saying "I think he felt closer to heaven there."
- The other of the first two bridges with a cable-stayed cradle system is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. American Society of Civil Engineers, "Bridging To The Future Of Engineering", press release, March 12, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
- Patch, David (2007-12-13). "Ice prompts review of its effect on Skyway". The Blade. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- Patch, David (2007-06-24). "Northbound and southbound lanes open on Glass City Skyway bridge". The Blade. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- Glass City Skyway at Bridges & Tunnels