News | Local

Portland's Vista Bridge Closed To Prevent Jump

OPB | Oct. 30, 2013 4:13 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 31, 2013 11:19 a.m. | Portland

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Portland’s Vista Bridge was closed Wednesday as crisis negotiators worked to keep a man from jumping.

Vista Bridge with suicide-prevention fencing in place.

Vista Bridge with suicide-prevention fencing in place.

Beth Hyams / OPB

It was the second time this month that someone has climbed around the new protective fencing on the bridge and threatened to jump. Police talked a man down earlier this month.

Commissioner Steve Novick is head of the transportation bureau. He says Wednesday’s extended negotiation is further proof that the barriers are working: would-be jumpers are forced to climb around them — and to hesitate.

Novick said, “Time is our friend in dealing with suicide. When people have time to think, often they decide not to do it. So the thing that barrier gives us is time.”

The nine-foot protective fencing was installed earlier this year as a temporary measure to stop suicides from the bridge after five people leapt to their deaths this year.

Novick says he’s looking for funding for permanent barriers that are consistent with the historic character of the bridge.

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