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Public Safety Committee to Hear Update on Colorado Street Bridge Barriers

Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 | 5:47 am

A view of the I-134 Freeway bridge across the Arroyo Seco as seen looking north from the Colorado Street Bridge, and through ‘Doka Barfrette Mesh’ installed to model Option A of various City-proposed permanent installations to mitigate suicides from the iconic structure. [Photo courtesy City of Pasadena]
The City Council’s Public Safety Committee will hear the latest updates on the Colorado Street Bridge Barrier Enhancement Project that was put in place to mitigate suicides from the iconic structure.

Temporary fencing was installed on the bridge in September 2018 after a successful 13-hour effort to talk a suicidal person off an outer ledge of the bridge. The incident led then-City Manager Steve Mermell to use his emergency powers to order the immediate installation of temporary fencing along the entire length of the Bridge in an effort to curb suicides at the historic structure.

The declaration came at a crucial point. The previous year, nine people had jumped to their deaths from the bridge.

The City has so far part spent some $1.05 million for the temporary chain link fence, installation of the existing mock-ups on the bridge, and preliminary conceptual design and community outreach. 

For 2022, the City appropriated another $2 million of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for the future phases of the project.

Four years later, permanent barriers still have not yet been put in place.

On Wednesday, The Public Works staff will report on the results of consultations with community stakeholders, including Pasadena Heritage, about three vertical design concepts for the permanent barriers that the City’s consultant, Donald MacDonald Architects, presented in 2020 along with constructed full-scale mock-ups of for City residents to see and evaluate. 

The mock-ups were put up based on feedback from the City’s Historic Preservation Commission, Design Commission and the Public Safety Committee, all of which have been conducting hearings and community outreach about the project.  

The outreach process also included an online community feedback survey, where residents and stakeholders could send in their comments and input after viewing the full-scale mock-ups on the bridge itself or online; images of the mock-ups were also available for viewing online. 

Public Works Department will present the latest updates on the project and report on the next steps that are planned in the coming months in order to finalize the designs and eventually put up a permanent barrier option. 

A report for the Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday showed that the Public Works Department has lined up a series of community outreach and design meetings – or charrettes – scheduled between November this year and May. The City intends to be able to award a design contract before the end of January 2023. 

Development of the final design could take up to June 2023, the report showed, before the final concept is presented to the Historic Preservation Commission and the Design Commission. By September 2023, or a year from now, the final design should reach the Public Safety Committee which will recommend approval by the City Council. 

Members of the community can watch the virtual meeting of the Public Safety Committee Wednesday through as well as through

Public comment may be submitted through

The National Suicide Hotlines are available 24/7 by dialing 988
Additional help is available at the Didi Hirsch 24-hour Crisis Line: 1-877-727-4747 (en Español: 1-800-628-9454)
LGBTQ – The Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
Trans Crisis Line: 1-877-565-8860
Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741-741
People of Color Crisis Text Line: Text STEVE to 741-741

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