Friday, April 16, 2010
The Aurora Bridge is about to acquire a suicide barrier. Hallelujah! This makes me so happy.
The Aurora Bridge is the second most "popular" suicide site in the United States...right behind the Golden Gate Bridge. 230 people have killed themselves at the bridge since it was built. Those "choose life" stickers on the light pole haven't really helped. Thank you Seattle and Washington State for finally doing this. From mynw.com:
Work to begin on Aurora's suicide prevention fence
Construction on a fence aimed at preventing people from jumping off Seattle's Aurora Bridge begins next week. Construction will begin Monday night and last four to six weeks until crews begin working during the day June-December. The noise is expected to be so loud that nearby residents have been offered industrial-strength earplugs.
According to a flier sent to neighbors, "You may hear tools such as wood saws, compressed air drills, generators, power wrenches and other construction equipment." However, the Washington State Department of Transportation said it's trying to reduce the nose by using portable noise shields on generators and use ambient back up alarms on equipment. Call the WSDOT if you need earplugs 206-267-6019
The 8-foot, 9-inch steel fence is designed to keep people from committing suicide by jumping from the 167-foot high span. The WSDOT said the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline finds the "use of bridge barriers is the most effective means of bridge prevention suicide" and the method has been successful on the Bloor Street Viaduct in Toronto, the Memorial Bridge in Augusta, the Colorado Street Brdige in Pasadena, the Duke Ellington Bridge in Washington D.C., and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England.
Crews will being installing the actual fence structure in late summer or early fall. They expect to finish the project in late 2010 or early next year.
The WSDOT said the original budget for the fence project was $8.1 million, but it was revised to $4.6 million. The project was funded through the gas tax.