Sturgeon Bay Bridgetender Clutched Onto Lifted Span of Bay View Bridge in “Up” Position

There was an odd emergency call made from the US Coast Guard to Door County dispatchers Friday morning as they reported a person was clutching onto one of the lifted spans of the Bay View Bridge as it was in the fully “up” position. Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman reports his department was called to the scene for assistance at about 10:15 AM. He reports the story that the lead bridgetender and a part-time bridgetender were working from the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge, but the lead bridgetender was going to the Bay View Bridge to grease the locks at the split between the span ends. This required the part-time bridgetender to open the Bay View Bridge just a very small amount. Apparently the bridge started opening and did not stop. The lead bridgetender then found himself clutching onto the span being raised into the air. Fire Chief Dietman explains………….

It was the Coast Guard who noticed the man in distress hanging onto the fence of the lifted span and made the emergency call. Eventually the part-time bridgetender on the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge noticed the problem and lowered the bridge. When Fire Chief Dietman arrived he spoke with the lead bridgetender who was safely back on the horizontal section of the bridge, although very shaken by the experience………….

Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash informed us that the bridges are owned by the state, and after the state finishes their investigation of the incident they will make the report available. We will report that information as it becomes available.

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