The ten-month-old suicide prevention fence on Aurora hasn’t completely stopped suicide attempts on the bridge, according to police records. Seattle Police Department data shows that within the first eight months after the fence was finished—between February and September—police responded to 28 suicide calls on the bridge.[pullquote]This year, the Washington State Department of Transportation finished building a $1.5 million fence around the bridge, designed the prevent suicide attempts.[/pullquote]
Some calls were for “suspicious vehicles”—someone pulled over on the side of the road—while other police responses were prompted by 911 calls from concerned family members. The first police call to the bridge came on February 17th, just two days after the suicide barrier was finished.
Police provided assistance to someone in 16 of the 28 incidents, although police records don’t detail what kind of assistance.
The Aurora bridge—also known as the George Washington Bridge—has been a destination for suicide attempts for decades in Seattle. The state previously installed phones connected to a crisis intervention hotline at the bridge, but that didn’t stop people from jumping to their deaths from the bridge. This year, the Washington State Department of Transportation finished building a $1.5 million fence around the bridge, designed the prevent suicide attempts.
Police did not provide information about any known successful suicide attempts on the bridge, or how the current numbers compare to previous years.