Technical Notes

Automated Ice Inference and Monitoring on the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Bridge


Under certain weather conditions, the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway (VGCS) Bridge in Toledo, Ohio, accumulates ice on the stay sheaths in such a way that has led to large fragments falling into traffic lanes. To aid the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in their response to this, an automatic inference and monitoring system was implemented. This system utilizes existing weather station measurement data to infer possible events, alerting officials and providing tools to further assess the situation. The development of the decision, the algorithm, and implementation process are presented. The system was implemented in January 2011, and it warned of and monitored an icing event that occurred February 20–24, 2011. Ice fell shortly after the system indicated conditions were met for icefall. ODOT personnel used the ice inference system to assist them in managing the response to the icing event.