PORTLAND, Oregon – A fifth suicide this year on the bridge when a man jumped to his death from the Vista Bridge on Monday morning.
The suicide was reported at 4:56 a.m. Central Precinct officers found the victim below the bridge on Southwest Jefferson Street.
It's the second death at the bridge since a plan was announced to install temporary screens along the span of the bridge, and the first since crews began installing them last week. Two teenagers, including a 15-year-old girl, are among those to jump from the bridge this year.
Volunteers have been manning the bridge in the meantime, hoping to discourage would-be jumpers.
Last Tuesday, Novick announced Tuesday morning that he is ordering the immediate construction of a 9-foot-tall mesh screen on both sides of the bridge as an interim remedy that can be in place until a longer term solution and funding can be found.
"Unfortunately, this beautiful and elegant bridge has been known as Suicide Bridge since its construction in the 1920s. It is time – past time – to stop the dying," said Novick, who is charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
According to Novick, construction of the screen mesh fence will begin in mid-July and take approximately two weeks at a cost of about $236,000.
One volunteer, a woman named Mary who didn't want to give her last name, wasn't at the bridge when the suicide happened but said another woman was. The woman engaged with the jumper, to no avail.
"That's our worst fear," Mary said.
The screens won't be finished for another two weeks.