SEATTLE - Work is set to resume Monday on a suicide-prevention fence for Seattle's Aurora Bridge.
The 8-foot, 9-inch fence around the rim of the bridge has been designed to discourage people from jumping. More than 230 people have jumped to their deaths since the 167-foot bridge opened in 1932. The group Seattle FRIENDS says more than half of the victims landed on pavement and busy intersections.
For Rachel Izzo, the deadly statistic came all too true. Four years ago, her 15-year-old soccer teammate jumped from the bridge to her death.
"We were all effected by it for a really long time," says Izzo. "It's was like I''d been like just kind of hit over the head. I was just numb."
Izzo and others felt the state had to do something.
" I felt really strongly that something needed to be done," Izzo said. "Not only does it effect all the family members and friends of the person, but I know people who saw the whole thing and they have to live with seeing them everyday. So I think it (the fence) will make a huge difference."
The state Department of Transportation says the $4.6 million project is expected to continue through the fall. Crews will work on mostly Sunday through Thursday nights, closing lanes at times. The project was first scheduled to begin in April, but the contractor had to resolve some equipment problems.
The DOT says at times, work will be noisy, and when possible, they will shield noise sources to minimize the effects on those near the bridge. People who live or work nearby can call (206.267.6019) or e-mail and DOT will send free earplugs.
Earplugs are also available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at the Fremont Neighborhood Service Center located at 908 N. 34th Street.