Types of bridges downtown on the Milwaukee River
- Bascule bridge (drawbridge): The most common type of movable bridge which opens quickly and requires little energy to operate.
- Vertical lift bridge: Rises vertically and remains parallel with the deck.
The movable bridges are operated by a combination of bridge workers, who man the bridge houses at each bridge, and off-site operation using remote control cameras and switches. The bridges have different hours of operation and follow procedures set by the Department of Public Works, including regular opening times and advance call-in guidelines.
Reflecting the time period in which the bridges were built - Neoclassical, Art Deco and Modern - the bridge houses contain the electrical controls and are characterized by a tower-like profile which provides superior overview of passing vessels.