For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

October 17, 2005

VETERANS GLASS CITY SKYWAY MAIN PYLON REACHES FINISHED HEIGHT

(TOLEDO OCTOBER 17) After more than three years of work, the center pylon of the Maumee River Crossing (MRC) Bridge is complete. Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Gordon Proctor, various elected officials and representatives from the Veterans Glass City Skyway Task Force were in attendance at a Topping Off ceremony as the final section was placed on the top of the pylon.

Topping off the pylon is a major milestone for ODOT and the citizens of Toledo, said Proctor. This one-of-a-kind pylon will make the Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge a lasting landmark for the entire northwest Ohio region.

The 400-foot tall concrete pylon is the central structural element of the bridge. The pylon will be the second-tallest structure in Toledo and will not only be unique to Ohio, but also to the world. The top 185 feet of the pylon will contain glass curtain walls that will be internally illuminated by 350 Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These LEDs can make the pylon any color or combination of colors and will be visible for miles.

Other project milestones that are complete include: all foundation and pier work (bridge structure), all concrete segments for the main span and bridge approaches and all ramps. Work on the Veterans Glass City Skyway project began in March 2002 and is now 80 percent complete. The completion date is scheduled for the end of calendar year 2006.

At a construction cost of $220 million, the Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge is the largest single construction project in ODOT history. The Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge will replace the outdated Craig Memorial lift bridge, which stops Interstate 280 traffic an average of 500 times per year, causing congestion and creating safety problems.

The Veterans Glass City Skyway project is a prime example of the types of projects supported by Governor Bob Tafts Jobs and Progress Plan. The 10-year, $5 billion Jobs and Progress Plan will rebuild Ohios highway network, address high-crash and congested locations and complete Ohios rural macro-corridors.

Over the next 10 years, northwest Ohio will see a historic investment of almost $500 million dollars. Lucas County alone will see an investment of $250 million to construct projects that will reduce congestion and accidents by rehabilitating Interstate 75, widening Interstate 475 and upgrading outdated interchanges.

The Veterans Glass City Skyway project and all of the Jobs and Progress projects are more than just building a bridge or highway to solve a traffic problem, Proctor said. They represent the largest investment into our infrastructure since the original creation of the highway system.