Installation of suicide-deterrent spikes on Coronado Bridge begins

CORONADO, Calif. -- Caltrans crews Tuesday night began prepping concrete barriers along the Coronado Bridge for the installation of suicide-deterrent spikes.

The spikes, which are used to keep birds from sitting on lights and other objects, will serve as a deterrent to keep people from jumping over the side of the bridge and attempting to take their lives.

"By no means is this an end-all cure-all, purely a deterrent," said Steven Bouchard, who survived a suicide attempt from the bridge in 1987.

Bouchard recently spoke to Caltrans board members about the need to do something on the bridge to prevent more suicides. Since the span opened in 1969, 420 people have jumped to their deaths. Bouchard says the spikes will make a big difference.

"If spikes are there, even if people hear there's a deterrent, that alone may be enough to keep them from going through with their plan or may steer them in another direction," Bouchard said.

Caltrans has said the work could cost up to $300,000 and take several weeks to complete.

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