Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Ice Research Project

Opportunity for research team to use new forecasting tools on Toledo’s landmark bridge

BOWLING GREEN (Tuesday, February 22, 2011)The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District Two announces that efforts to enhance existing ODOT forecasting and response to ice on the cables of the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway are now underway.

This year, ODOT has added additional forecasting tools to its monitoring systems, including improved precipitation sensors. These new tools proactively track weather conditions when ice forms and alert ODOT when conditions indicate an ice fall is possible.

In March 2009, ODOT began the first phase of a research project to see what measures could be taken to resolve the issue of ice forming on the VGCS’s twenty stainless steel cables. This project assembled a team of the nation’s top researchers including engineers and scientists from ODOT, the University of Toledo, the University of Cincinnati, the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and NASA.

"The additional monitoring equipment on the bridge was extremely useful and informative this weekend" said ODOT District Two Deputy Director, Todd Audet. "It helped to confirm our field observations, especially when ice build up can be difficult to see."

Richard Martinko of the University of Toledo Transportation Center, is leading a team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati, the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, and other University of Toledo faculty who are addressing the issue.

"Our research team has been collecting data from instrumentation placed on the bridge. This is the first opportunity to use the data to proactively inform ODOT of a likely icing event on the VGCS and better safeguard the traveling public." stated Martinko.

As a precaution, the VGCS is currently reduced to one lane in both directions. ODOT will advise when restrictions are lifted. Prior to today, lane restrictions on the VGCS have been issued four times since 2007.

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For more information contact:
The District 2 Public Information office at (419) 373-4428
or email D02.PIO@dot.state.oh.us