Bill aims to secure funding for Coronado Bridge suicide barrier

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SAN DIEGO -- The Coronado Bridge is known for its beauty, but some refer to it as a "suicide hotspot."

More than 400 people have used the bridge to take their own lives.

“My mother took her life from this bridge, but she was holding me in her arms when she did so. I was three back then," said Bertha Loaiza, whose mother jumped to her death in 1985.

Loaiza explains why she’s so driven to make sure a suicide barrier goes up along the bridge.

“The fact that I’m standing here speaking to you when, logically, I shouldn’t be. I have to speak up. I lost my mother but I hope nobody else has to," said Loaiza.

A bill that looks to secure funding for a suicide barrier along the Coronado Bridge is expected to go before the full State Senate next week.

Senator Ben Hueso (D-40th District) introduced the bill.

“I’m trying to find the fastest process. Unfortunately, government moves slowly and there aren’t specific funds allocated for this purpose. But we’re going to make sure they’re there so this committee can convene and Caltrans can work quickly as possible to erect these improvements," said Hueso.

Hueso put in a request for $10 million from the state budget for Caltrans to get a committee formed to come up with a plan of action. He says nine barrier options are on the table and believes the project would cost somewhere between $25 million and $130 million.

“We’re only seeing those numbers increase. Over the last several years we’ve been experiencing a rise in suicides annually along the bridge," said Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey.

Hueso says he hopes the bill will be on Governor Newsom's desk by summer.

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