Veterans' Glass City Skyway Bridge
The Veterans' Glass City Skyway, commonly referred to as the Skyway Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge on Interstate 280.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (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 span across the Maumee River. The main span is a cable-stayed type bridge with a single pylon and two spans on each side of the pylon. The bridge opened to traffic on June 24, 2007.
The original timeline called for completion of the bridge in May 2006, but that was delayed 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. Major construction was halted for 16 months after this tragic accident while two new cranes were brought in and tested. Operations were also slower than expected due to increased oversight of the project by OSHA following the accident.
Toledo's Arts Commission commissioned the construction of a memorial to honor all those who contributed to this massive project with special emphasis on those who lost their lives or were injured during the construction. The Tribute Memorial is located on the south side of the bridge. The unique kinetic sculpture includes a stainless steel tower standing on four concrete columns.
After the "glass-themed" Skyway was opened in 2007, a main attraction became the single pylon which contains 384 LEDs that are capable of creating 16.7 million color combinations. The LEDs shine through all the glass facing on all four sides of upper 196 feet of the main pylon. These lights are visible from miles away.
This bridge was originally going to be called the Glass City Skyway but veterans groups pointed out that it was succeeding the Craig Memorial Bridge, named in memory of Second Lieutenant Robert Craig, a local World War II veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor. As a compromise, the name "Veterans' Glass City Skyway" was selected for the bridge, honoring ALL veterans.