- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials are considering a historic change to the way bridges in Joliet are operated.

The (Joliet) Herald-News reports (https://bit.ly/1z7XXuF ) the Department of Transportation plans to centralize bridge-tending operations on the 80-year-old Des Plaines River crossings.

IDOT bridge maintenance engineer Sarah Wilson says installing fiber-optic cables and a series of cameras would allow consolidating duties to three bridge tenders at the Bridge Street facility.

IDOT will present its plan publicly Tuesday afternoon at city hall.

It would affect raising and lowering operations on the Cass, Jackson, Jefferson, McDonough and Ruby street bridges.

Watson says the plan would make operations more efficient and reduce manpower. Currently six tenders work around the clock.

IDOT officials say three railroad bridges over the river are operated remotely from other states.

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