Joliet Bridges


I spoke with Todd and he advised in detail that his pilot had 1 incident of delay at Ruby, 1 at Jefferson, and 1 at McDonough in the last 2 weeks.  The report he gave was the bridge tender indicated they could not open the draw due to the “Bridge Control Office” (i.e. the remote center located near Cass) being the ones who would open the bridge (vice the actual bridge tender onsite).

According to DOT one incident described above was resultant from a vehicle hitting the safety gate and thereby precluding the bridge from opening on demand.  The other two incidents are being looked into as to why the draw was unable to be opened on demand.  I will let you know what I find out.  In the interim, please ensure any other delays/incidents are relayed to me so I can figure out how to address the root cause of the delays.

Just so you are aware, IDOT is hoping to have all the bridges outfitted for going remote by the end of the year.  If that occurs they will be requesting to do a test period where the bridges are all fully remotely operated.  Whenever the DOT is ready to request that test, I would like to have a discussion at an IRCA meeting so the waterway users can be involved.  Also, the CG approval of such a test deviation will be contingent, in part, based on the lack of incidents leading up to the DOT’s request.  Moving forward, I will continue to work with the DOT to resolve any operational issues and ensure the safety of navigation.


Peter J. Sambor, M.P.A.
USCG Bridge Management Specialist
1222 Spruce Street, Suite 2.102D
Saint Louis, MO 63103
(314) 269-2380