Caltrans Gets Feedback From Community on Suicide Barriers for Coronado Bay Bridge - NBC 7 San Diego

Caltrans Gets Feedback From Community on Suicide Barriers for Coronado Bay Bridge

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    NEWSLETTERS

    More than 400 people have taken their lives after jumping off the Coronado Bay Bridge. Now, Caltrans is in the middle of a year-long study to get feedback from residents to address the issue. NBC 7’s Ashley Matthews has the story.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017)

    Caltrans has unveiled some of the options that could help prevent suicides off the Coronado Bay Bridge.

    The community has been demanding a solution for years, with more than 400 people to date having taken their own lives.

    Caltrans displayed seven different options Tuesday night, from barriers to nets, even signs and license plate readers.

    Wayne Strickland is one of many Coronado residents who told NBC 7 he wants action.

    "I was a firefighter for 32 years. Did a lot of trying to save lives from people jumping. We never saved one of them," he said.

    In 2016, 19 people committed suicide. This year, there have been 11.

    "So many people with kids who witness somebody jumping off the bridge, or sitting, crying, getting ready to jump off the bridge. It's just too sad," added Strickland.

    About 90,000 cars travel on the bridge each day and when there's a suicide attempt, it's closed for hours.

    Just last week, there were two.

    Matthew Bruhin, Ph.D and his wife, Liz were driving home when they saw a man walking up the bridge and crying. They stopped, talked him off the ledge and saved his life.

    Now he's at APEX recovery getting the treatment he needs.

    "Being kind of part of the community and hearing about the need. And then experiencing the situation first-hand really makes us want to get something done and that's why we're here tonight," said Bruhin.

    The Bruhins told NBC 7, the man named Juan is extremely dedicated to getting better and is now thriving.

    "He's such a good person.  I'm grateful that we were there," said Liz Bruhin.

    Once Caltrans is done with this year-long feasibility study, it will then go into the next phase--an environmental study which takes about three years.

    If all goes smoothly, the earliest there will be some sort of barrier on the bridge would be about six years from now.

    Caltrans is hosting another open house in Barrio Logan Wednesday evening. It will be at the Cesar Chavez Continuing Education Center, 5 to 7 p.m.

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