Recruitment #2308-0918-002


Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee has evolved through the years, bringing together its unsurpassed historic charm with a breathtaking art museum, top-flight cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities, and great restaurants.




In accordance with Federal and Coast Guard rules and regulations to ensure safe passage for vessels, the Bridge Operator maintains and operates the City’s movable bridges.

Essential Functions

Bridge Operation

  • Operate electrical and mechanical equipment to open and close bridges in a smooth and safe manner and with minimum interference to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
  • Provide and maintain continuous service on assigned bridges during the assigned shift.
  • Operate unattended bridges by use of a remote-control system that utilizes audio and visual monitors and a separate control panel.
  • Operate unstaffed bridges on a roving system as directed, traveling by use of a vehicle or on foot.
  • Operate and monitor a marine radio; communicate with vessels for bridge openings.

Bridge Inspection and General Maintenance

  • Conduct daily inspection of all bridge platforms and machinery mechanisms such as gearing, cables, bearings, center locks, bumper beams, sheaves, and traffic gates.
  • Inspect, clean, and perform minor preventive maintenance on machinery platforms, counterweight pits, and bridge walks by lubricating and degreasing machinery; sweeping and hosing down pits, platforms, and walks; and removing snow, ice, and water.
  • Make minor repairs to bridge equipment such as replacing or repairing grease lines, grease guns, and pump hoses.
  • Perform housekeeping duties, such as washing windows, walls, floors, ceiling, and control panels. Inspect and report outages of bulbs on accessible lighting fixtures such as pit, navigation, and bridge house lights.


  • Accurately record and report all vessel movements, bridge openings, complaints, malfunctions, and inspections in the DPW bridge log.
  • Monitor and report incidents of vandalism and security issues.

We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

The Bridge Operator must be willing and able to do the following:

  • Work first, second, and third shift on a rotating basis, including weekends and holidays.
  • Perform physical activities in the work environment that require walking and standing, climbing stairs and ladders up to 5 ft. in height, crawling, crouching, stooping, kneeling, reaching, balancing, pushing, and pulling.
  • Work alone in a small area for extended periods of time.
  • Perform moderate physical work, exerting up to 50 lbs. of force occasionally and lifting and moving objects weighing 10-20 lbs. frequently.
  • Perform tasks that require repetitive motion for up to 30 minutes, such as shoveling snow from platforms.
  • Attentively view traffic, pedestrians, vessels and bridge controls to operate in a safe manner.
  • Attentively listen for and hear all types of traffic, including pedestrians, water vessels, and motor vehicles.
  • Withstand prolonged exposure to variable and extreme weather conditions including rain, wind, excessive heat, intense cold, and snow.
  • Perform snow removal on bridge sidewalks.
  • Tolerate vibrating working conditions and noise.
  • Work in proximity of moving mechanical parts.
  • Possess finger dexterity to operate controls.
  • Safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • Safely use hand tools and operate a hand crank to open center locks and traffic gates.
  • Follow the step by step protocols and procedures to safely operate bridges, Training will be provided by an experienced operator.
  • The preplacement medical requirements for this title include:
    • Physical/lift test
    • Audiogram
    • Vision
    • DOT – Drug Test

Minimum Requirements

  1. Six months of full-time experience operating large or complex mechanical and/or electrical equipment and performing maintenance responsibilities.
  2. Valid driver’s license at the time of appointment and throughout employment.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Knowledge of basic electrical and mechanical principles to operate equipment and perform maintenance responsibilities.
  • Knowledge of safe work procedures to avoid dangerous situations for persons, property, and equipment.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to public safety policies and procedures.
  • Ability to be observant to monitor equipment and controls.
  • Ability to follow detailed instructions, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to solve problems related to equipment malfunctions, maintenance and repair, and public safety.
  • Ability to operate controls, read scales and gauges, and view monitors and computer screens.
  • Ability to perform basic computer data entry to record bridge openings, incident reports, and maintenance updates.

Communication and Interpersonal

  • Verbal communication skills to clearly relay messages to co-workers, supervisors, and the public.
  • Customer service skills to serve the public in a courteous and tactful manner.
  • Written communication skills, including the ability to accurately and consistently record data.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with coworkers and residents whose backgrounds may differ from one’s own.


  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  • Ability to keep tools, equipment, and work area clean and organized.
  • Honesty and the ability to safeguard departmental resources.

Current Salary

The current starting salary (Pay Range 8CN) is $49,147 annually and the resident incentive salary for City of Milwaukee residents is $50,621 annually.

The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program which includes:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass  

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: an evaluation of education, experience and/or responses to supplemental questions; a written or performance test, a structured interview, or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to structured interviews and performance examinations. Structured interviews may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.


INITIAL FILING DATE - The selection process will be held as soon as practical after the application deadline listed above. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the selection process components. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative selection process dates or times. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

  • Applications and further information may be accessed by visiting
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St., Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


EEO 803

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.