Bridge Suicides: NDOT defends lack of fencing
The Nevada Department of Transportation is defending a lack of fencing along the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge in light of a recent rash of suicides. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Boulder City, NV (KTNV) -- The Nevada Department of Transportation is defending a lack of fencing along the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge in light of a recent rash of suicides.
There have been at least four suspected suicides off the bridge so far this year, prompting questions about whether adequate barriers are in place to stop would-be jumpers.
Currently, the fence along the bridge's walkway is approximately 4.5 feet tall.
"It's something we have looked into but people have jumped from the Dam before the bridge was there," says Michelle Booth, spokesperson for NDOT. "To say that because of the bridge people are jumping is not necessarily the case."
NDOT tells Action News the issue of suicide jumpers came up repeatedly during the design phase.
They used the Golden Gate bridge as a key case study. San Francisco spent millions installing fencing and suicide hot-line phones along that bridge.
"They didn't find anything to prove that it was effective," says Booth.
While some visitors to the bridge think the fence could be higher, many agree with NDOT's decision to hold off.
"If they want to die they are probably just finding another way," says visitor Peter Drastrup.
"I don't think it's going to make a difference," adds Lee Tussing. "I don't think someone who is going to jump is going to want to call somebody. They are going to do what they're going to do."
For now, it's status quo at the bridge until NDOT finds something proven to deter jumpers.
A quarterly meeting with Arizona and federal officials regarding the bridge is set for September and NDOT says the recent suicides will certainly be discussed.