San Diego

Caltrans Hosts First Meeting to Deter Suicide Attempts from Coronado Bridge

Caltrans is hosting the first of two meetings to help examine possible suicide deterrent systems on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge Wednesday.

The meetings mark the latest development in an effort by multiple agencies to examine possible solutions for the bridge's lack of barriers. In May, the organization started taking an in-depth look at the issue.

The bridge is a postcard backdrop and one of San Diego's most recognizable land marks, however, it is also known for the many suicides committed at the location.

Since the bridge first opened in 1969, over 400 people have died from jumping off the bridge.

This year there have been 11 suicides so far, and 17 last year, according to Rhonda Haiston, founder of the San Diego Collaborative for Suicide Prevention.

"Our mission from the beginning has been to stop the suicides from occurring from the bridge,” said Haiston. “The feasibility study will take 10 months, and they began last month.”

Haiston said she is proud of what has been accomplished with the study so far. She said evidence proves that removing human access is a great deterrent to preventing suicide.

One of the most popular deterrent suggestions among suicide prevention groups is to build a fence, but some are concerned it will negatively impact the view from the bridge.

Another option is to build a barrier, which could help preserve the view, but building and upkeep could be costly.

A third suggestion is to build steel nets, which would not impact the view, but would also be very costly.

The meetings are open to the public and are opportunities for people to give more suggestions, review, comment and learn about the current Feasibility Study, according to Caltrans.

The next meeting will be August 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Coronado Public Library.

The meetings will be used in the Caltrans study to see what the best feasibility option would be and to determine if the project moves forward.

There is a 24-hour crisis line available to anyone contemplating suicide (888) 724-7240.

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