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Published: Sunday, 6/17/2007

Dedication is set for Saturday; traffic to start rolling next day

The first opportunity to cross the new Veterans Glass City Skyway next weekend will belong to people on foot not those in automobiles.

The Maumee River bridge is scheduled to open to pedestrians at 8 a.m. Saturday , the morning of its dedication and ribboncutting and the day before it will begin carrying regular traffi c.

The public is invited to attend Saturday s dedication ceremony, set to commence at 10:30 a.m. on the north side of the bridge deck. The Ohio Department of Transportation will announce parking instructions closer to the event date.

The ceremony will begin with a call to order by David Dysard , deputy director of ODOT s district office in Bowling Green.

Next will be an invocation and prayer offering by local clergy , followed by a presentation of colors involving 20 color guard representatives and an honor guard unit of veterans.

The Boy Scouts of America will lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Herbert Rex Shanahan , Jr., 65, a Marine Corps veteran will then sing the National Anthem.

ODOT Director James Beasley will next present a welcome, and Gov. Ted Strickland will give opening remarks. Joe Blaze, business manager for Ironworkers Local 55, is scheduled to speak after the governor.

There will be an unfurling of U.S. and Ohio flags and additional speeches by several state and local officials and dignitaries. The ceremony will conclude with a ribbon-cutting.

A walk/run event hosted by the Toledo Road Runners kicks off at noon. The 4-mile course crosses the Skyway and starts and finishes at the Summit YMCA in downtown Toledo.

Once the walkers have cleared the bridge, a motorized parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. from the east side of the bridge, crossing over the water and continuing toward the Green Belt Parkway.

The bridge will remain open to pedestrians until 3 p.m.

The following day , at a time yet to be determined, the Skyway will officially open to I-280 traffic.

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