Glass Panels Mark Final Phase For Ohio Crossing

Marking the last major construction stage for Toledo, Ohio’s, landmark Maumee River Bridge, the 176 glass panels that will be installed on the crossing’s 404-ft-tall pylon began arriving at the site on March 29.

Construction of the cabled-stayed bridge and its 1,225-ft-long main span has been marred by a fatal truss collapse and various other setbacks. But Ohio Dept. of Transportation engineers now see the light at the end of the bridge, with its opening now slated for June.

Most of the 176 panels are on average 4 ft 5 in. high, 7.5 ft wide and 1¼ in. thick, says Mike Gramza, project manager for ODOT. Weighing about 450 lb each, the panels will be lifted by crane and placed into stainless steel tracks with angled brackets by workers on platforms attached to the pylon. Panels will be screwed in and calked. When completed, they will illuminate 384 light-emitting diodes already installed on the pylon that can create 16.7 million color combinations. General contractor Frucon Construction Corp., Ballwin, Mo., subcontracted the approximate $1-million fabrication and installation to multiple firms. American Glass & Metal, Plymouth, Mich., is installing the panels. Fru-Con and ODOT wanted to begin installing the panels last year to make up for some of the troubled project’s 18 months of lost time. Instead, they had to wait.

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