[Updated] Installation of full-scale suicide deterrence barrier design mock-ups on the Colorado Street Bridge began Monday and according to city officials will take two weeks to complete.
The mock-ups will provide “for better visualization and evaluation” before a specific permanent barrier design is selected, a city tweet said.
During installation, the bridge will be reduced to one lane and the sidewalks on both sides of the bridge will be closed to pedestrians. Officials suggested drivers avoid the bridge and find alternate routes.
The mockups were approved by the city council last September at a cost $160,210 as the next step in a years-long effort to create a workable solution to deter people from committing suicide by jumping off the bridge.
Ara Maloyan, the city’s public works director, told the council at the time that the mock-ups would remain in place for as long as a month and a half as the city seeks public reaction to their look.
Once the public checks in through surveys and comments on the city’s website, Maloyan said last Sept. 21, a final design will be selected. At that point, permanent, iron barriers would be purchased and erected.
One of the proposed designs features a curved barrier, while one features straight pickets – the latter being more difficult for drivers to see through as they traverse the bridge, Maloyan said.
Several mock-up panels will be installed at two separate locations on the bridge to provide vantage points for visualization of the mock-ups, from both on and off the bridge.
Kris Markarian, an engineer in the DPW, told the Public Safety Committee late last year that the department will conduct “extensive outreach” to gauge public reaction to the three designs.
More information on presentations and public hearings will be available as the installation is completed, according to a city memo.
The National Suicide Hotlines are available 24/7 at 1-800 SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) and 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
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