The opening of the VGCS Bridge was a monumental event for Ohio both from a community and transportation standpoint.
"Never before has a community been so involved in ensuring that a transportation project of this size met the needs of traffic and characterized a city's unique history," said David Dysard, District 2 deputy director. "ODOT continued this partnership with the community in the opening of the bridge, including events such as a parade and four-mile run/walk sponsored by the Taskforce and community members."
The opening event was a culmination of more than 20 years of work dating back to the 1980s when the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) formed a group to direct the planning process of constructing the new bridge. Many of those involved with the opening ceremonies were involved with the bridge from the beginning and carried that history through to the ribbon cutting.
The original Task Force comprised of representatives from five area government entities- TMACOG, Lucas County, the cities of Oregon and Toledo and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority- as well as business leaders and neighborhood associations. ODOT joined the Task Force soon after it was formed and committed to working with local leaders throughout the design and construction of this landmark structure. The results of this group's hard work is stunning and will continue to be a point of pride in the city's skyline for the entire community.
An indication of the community's support for the bridge, eight to twelve thousand community members attended the dedication events. The community also held the honor of being first to cross the VGCS Bridge on foot on Saturday, June 23. ODOT then finalized pavement markings and opened two lanes of traffic in each direction on Sunday, June 24, shortly after sunrise.