For informational/historical purposes only.

Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

June 23, 2007

Governor Strickland, Local Leaders to Open Veterans Glass City Skyway

TOLEDO (June 23, 2007) Northwest Ohio is making history as the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) prepares to open the Veterans Glass City Skyway (VGCS) Bridge in Toledo. Governor Ted Strickland and ODOT Director James Beasley, joined by community leaders and the VGCS Taskforce, cut the ribbon today to recognize the end of this six-year state project.

"The workers who have labored since 2001 are owed our gratitude," said Governor Strickland. "While this is a day to celebrate, we also remember the workers no longer with us who helped make this celebration possible. The bridge will long stand as a tribute to their memory as well as the sacrifices of our states veterans."

U.S. Senator George Voinovich, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, State Senator Teresa Fedor, State Representative Peter Ujvagi, Mayor of Toledo Carleton Finkbeiner, Mayor of Oregon Marge Brown, representatives from the local ironworkers and carpenters unions, ODOT District Two Deputy Director David Dysard and VGCS Bridge Taskforce Chair Steve Nathanson participated in the dedication ceremony.

The opening of the VGCS Bridge is a monumental event for Ohio from both a community and transportation standpoint. The project holds significance in the magnitude of the work, details of the structure and the unprecedented public input process before and during construction.

"As an engineer of more than 30 years, I can tell you this bridge is a marvel," said Beasley, noting that the concrete structure is the largest, most complicated project ODOT has completed to date. "This bridge will be a landmark of hope for tomorrow and all the better days ahead for Northwest Ohio."

The VGCS is the only bridge in the world to have programmable light fixtures in the main pylon. Behind its 176 inlaid, glass panels are light-emitting diode fixtures that can create limitless color combinations. The design honors Toledos heritage as a glass-making city. The bridge is also the first in the United States with stainless steel stay cable sheathing and has set a world record in the number of strands that make a single stay.

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 citys unique history. ODOT continued this partnership in the opening of the bridge, including events such as a parade and four-mile walk/run sponsored by the Taskforce and community members.

While the community held the honor of first crossing the VGCS Bridge on foot, ODOT will open two lanes of traffic in each direction on Sunday, June 24. The Craig Memorial Bridge, outdated to serve traffic on Interstate 280, will continue to function as a drawbridge and become part of State Route 65. It will eventually allow vehicle, foot and bicycle traffic, connecting the neighborhoods of Toledo