The University of Toledo University Transportation Center

Ice Prevention or Removal on the Veterans' Glass City Skyway Cables


Source Organization: Ohio Department of Transportation

Contract/Grant Number: 134489; Modification Addendum Agreement No. 23317B
Start date: 2010/3/7, End date: 2011/1/7; Completion date modified to January 31, 2014

Principal Investigator:

Douglas K. Nims, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
College of Engineering
The University of Toledo
Phone: 419-530-8122
Fax: 419-530-8116


The Veterans' Glass City Skyway (VGCS), formerly known as the Maumee River Crossing, is one of only two installations in the United States that uses a new cable-stayed cradle system that eliminates anchorages in the pylon by carrying the stays from anchorages in the bridge deck, through the pylon and back to anchorages in the deck. The stay cables consist of a series of parallel stainless steel tubes inside a larger stainless steel outer sheathing. The stainless steel sheathing offers aesthetic and life cycle cost advantages over other materials; however, there have also been other unexpected results. Specifically, ice accumulates on the stays, which presents safety issues for the motorists traveling below. When this occurs, the ODOT must close lanes in each direction until the ice is gone.  

This landmark structure, which is an important connector for multimodal transportation and economic development of the region, has thousands of vehicles crossing daily. Extended lane closures impede economic activity and are a tremendous inconvenience to the traveling public and the surrounding community. A cost effective method to safely and efficiently remove ice from the stays without damaging the structure or causing additional safety concerns and delays to the public is desirable. A cost effective method to prevent the formation of ice on the stays is preferable.  

The objective of "Ice Prevention or Removal on the Veteran's Glass City Skyway Cables" is to identify the most effective and reliable solution to this problem. It is intended to implement a cost effective solution prior to next winter season. This is necessary for the safety of the traveling public along with minimizing the inconvenience due to traffic delays caused by closing two of the available three lanes of traffic. It is anticipated that the research performed will determine if a cost effective solution is available that will not impact the aesthetics of the stainless steel cables. This research may not only benefit the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway but cable stay bridges across the world that encounter icing conditions.


ODOT Grant 
UT Match            
Total Project  



Total Funding with Modification

ODOT Grant 
UT Match            
Total Project

$ 452,884.82
$ 163,533.23
$ 616,418.05



Last Updated: 6/9/16