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Bridge or Lock Tender

Job Summary

Responsible for operating bridges and canal locks to ensure safe passage of ships through island waterways, under bridges, and near shores. Lifts drawbridges, locks, and lowers.

Primary responsibilities

  • Operates the machinery that opens and closes railroad or highway drawbridges; horizontally or vertically adjustable bridges; or canal locks and dams.
  • Open and close canal locks and dams, drawbridges, and adjustable bridges.
  • Activate traffic signals, alarms, and lights to signal captains and motorists.
  • Watch for approaching vessels and time the lifting of the bridge to coincide with ship's arrival.
  • Estimate vessels' size and speed.
  • Communicate with captain on board ship.
  • Move levers to pull bridge up and down.
  • Use signals and equipment to direct movement of vessels in locks or bridge areas.
  • Clean, maintain, and operate equipment.
  • Monitor and inspect canal and bridge equipment for defects.
  • Listen for a blowing whistle to indicate a vessel wants to pass.
  • Log the name, type, and destination of the ship or train.
  • Fill out the necessary accident reports and make minor repairs if the equipment is damaged.

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