Vista Bridge suicide reported 1 week after barrier announcement - WNEM TV 5

Vista Bridge suicide reported 1 week after barrier announcement

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A man jumped to his death from the Vista Bridge on Tuesday, one week after the city announced it would be building a suicide-prevention screen on the historic bridge.

Portland police said they received word of the suicide at 4:56 a.m., and found the man's body on Southwest Jefferson Street.

It's the fourth suicide from the bridge in the past six months, making it the highest rate in years. The deaths led City Commissioner Steve Novick to order the "immediate construction" of a 9-foot-tall mesh screen on the bridge span to stop people from committing suicide.

City officials said the barrier is currently being fabricated and it's still on track to be installed this month. It will take about two weeks at a cost of $236,000. Officials said they're working as quickly as possible to have it installed.

A Portland couple who have offices located below the bridge said they witness about one suicide per year. Kenneth Kahn said the bridge may appear to be majestic in appearance, but he said "the darker side of it is it's a killing machine."

The bridge has been known as "Suicide Bridge" for decades.


July 16, 2013 - 'Suicide Bridge' to get 9-foot-high barrier

May 14, 2013 - Couple pushes for barrier on Vista Bridge to prevent suicides

Sept. 19, 2012 - New suicide prevention signs being installed on Vista Bridge

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