PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A public meeting was held Wednesday night to discuss safety concerns over a historic bridge in Pasadena, notoriously known as “Suicide Bridge.”
The Colorado Street Bridge, built in 1912, got its nickname during the Great Depression after nearly 50 people leaped to their deaths from 1933 to 1937, according to WeirdCA.com, which says the 1,486-foot structure has seen 100 suicides over the decades.
The bridge stands 150 feet over the Arroyo Seco riverbed and 5 acres of land that was home to the Desiderio Army Reserve Center.
The land is being transformed into a park, and nine homes being built there by Habitat for Humanity are near completion.
Future residents and people already living there worry about their safety and quality of life.
“There have been other bodies that I understand from the police that actually landed right here,” said Marci Solway, who lives under the bridge.
Signs have been erected along the bridge to discourage suicides. But even then, Solway said, “We can’t get out of our homes; we can’t go into our homes.”
“I’m concerned that a little child could be there; someone’s up on the bridge. No warning that someone’s jumping and ‘Wham!’ So for the safety of children, I’m not so sure we should even have a playground,” Solway added. “People who don’t live down here don’t understand what goes on.”
Donovon Brunkalla is building a house he and his family will soon call home in the Arroyo neighborhood south of the Rose Bowl. He said explaining suicides to his three children is not a conversation he wants to have with them.
One resident, who declined to give his name, claimed the city has done little to deter more people from jumping to their deaths.
So he and his community joined forces with Habitat for Humanity to persuade the city to take action. He said he would like to see the city build a taller barrier.
One was installed during an earthquake retrofitting in the early 1990s. The number of suicides has dropped, according to LegendsofAmerica.com. But the bridge continues to retain its nickname and ghostly legends.