Skyway Memorial to Symbolize the Energy of I-280 Workers Who Died

The memorial will honor the workers who died.
The memorial will honor the workers who died.

Editor's Note: this story was first posted on WTOL.COM on November 11, 2006.

TOLEDO -- They died building the I-280 bridge. Though we don't need a memorial to remember them, future generations might. To help ensure future generations don't forget, the Tribute Committee assigned the task of choosing a proper way to remember them unveiled pictures of a proposed memorial at the Veterans Glass City Skyway on Wednesday.

"This is a signature bridge for the city of Toledo," says Joe Blaze, Ironworkers Local 55 and Tribute Committee co-chair. "A lot of men and women participated in the erection of this structure, and some gave their lives to have this structure built. We don't want to forget them."

John Crandall, with the Glass City Skyway Tribute Committee, gave News 11's Brad Harvey a personal tour of the new memorial site next to the bridge, off Front St.

ODOT will completely reconfigure the entire area, creating Tribute Park where the sculpture will be located. "The site itself is now Front St. with the entrance ramp to I-280. But that will be taken out as the project opens up with the new crossing," Crandall says.

The sculpture itself is, in the words of News 11's Brad Harvey, a "spectacular kinetic work," which means it will move both literally and figuratively. Its motion will symbolize the energy of those who built the bridge -- and those who gave their lives in the effort.

An important aspect of this project is, of course, the victims' families. "They've been involved in every step," said Steve Nathanson, with the Tribute Committee. "They've been at every meeting, and they were in on the choice of this final sculpture. They've been in on helping us plan the park and the entire tribute."

The memorial will cost about $130,000 and will be funded both privately and through events.  The major fund-raising event for the Skyway Memorial will be held May 24. It's a gala called "Some Enlightened Evening," and it will be held at the new Marina District. For tickets, call 419- 206-0398.

Posted by KO