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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

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KOIN: Vista Bridge to get suicide barrier

July 9, 2013 | After more than 170 suicides off a Southwest Portland bridge — including three this year — Goose Hollow’s historic Vista Bridge is getting a suicide-prevention screen.

Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick announced Tuesday that he has ordered the construction of a $236,000, 9-foot-tall mesh screen for what has become known as “suicide bridge.” The screen will consist of a tight weave and a curved overhang along the inside of the railing to help deter climbers. Novick described it as an “interim remedy” to the problem.

Construction, which will begin mid-July, is expected to take two weeks, with no lane closures during that time.

Sarah Hobbs understands the despair that drives people to jump. Eight years ago, the mother of two was afflicted with a rare facial neuropathy often called the suicide disease because 26 percent of the sufferers can’t live with the pain.

“I started thinking this isn’t worth it,” Hobbs told KOIN 6 News. “I’m not even existing. It was a relapse. I can’t do this.”

While walking home, she saw the Vista Bridge as an option to end it all. But in the 11th hour, thoughts of her children stopped her.

“You can’t do this,” she said she told herself. “You don’t want your kids’ last memory of you as jumping and killing yourself on the bridge.”

But three people this year, including a 15-year-old girl, went through with their jump. She landed on the MAX tracks below and shutting down train service for several hours on June 5.

The three deaths so far in 2013 match READ FULL ARTICLE