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Published: Saturday, 4/30/2011

Skyway salute

The tragedy that preceded completion of Toledo’s landmark bridge over the Maumee shook the city, but would not deny it a triumph in a majestic structure.

This week, Tribute Park was dedicated on Front Street, at the foot of the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway, to commemorate the human sweat and sacrifices that gave the bridge life.

Four ironworkers who worked on the bridge were killed, and four other workers seriously injured, in the crash of a massive gantry crane in February, 2004. Three years later, a bridge worker fell to his death from a work platform.

For months thereafter, motorists would pass makeshift memorials of flowers, crosses, and cards tucked into a nearby fence. Now there is a fitting and permanent memorial. The names of Arden Clark II, Robert Lipinski , Michael Moreau, and Michael Phillips from Ironworkers Union Local 55 are engraved in stone, along with the name of Andrew Burris of Carpenters Union Local 1138.

They helped make the bridge project possible. The unions that lost members in the accidents, and heartfelt community support, made the enduring tribute possible.

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