San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project

Aerial image of the project limits of the San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project.  For more information contact D11.CoronadoBridge.ED@dot.ca.gov
Aerial image of the project limits of the San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project
- The aerial includes locations of various project components including proposed Transportation Management System elements – upgrade Close-Circuit Television (CCTV), proposed Transportation Management System elements – new Vehicle Detection System (VDS), and study limits of the suicide deterrent.

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to install a suicide deterrence system to reduce suicides and suicide attempts while also reducing the closures of the bridge due to these events.

Need

Although official figures have not been maintained since its opening in 1969, it is widely believed that there have been approximately 400 deaths by suicide that have occurred from the San Diego - Coronado Bridge on State Route 75. After the Golden Gate Bridge, it is recognized as the second most frequently used bridge for suicide in the states. The Bridge does not have a permanent physical suicide deterrent system. The standard operating procedure for suicide attempts is closure of the Bridge.

The Bridge has the highest concentration of fatalities for a spot location on the state highway system in Caltrans District 11 (San Diego and Imperial Counties) due to deaths by suicide. Fatalities caused by suicide do not qualify under current Highway Safety Improvement criteria and are not eligible for HSIP funding.

The existing TMS elements on the Bridge consist of six cameras controlled exclusively by California Highway Patrol (CHP) staff stationed at the Bridge Toll Plaza in Coronado. When CHP staff is not available at the Toll Plaza, the cameras cannot be repositioned and are no longer effective for monitoring activity on the bridge. In addition, existing camera locations do not provide full coverage of the bridge and surrounding areas.

Non-physical suicide deterrence measures have been implemented on the Bridge along with four-inch spikes installed on top of the bridge rail in early 2019 as an interim measure. However, multiple suicides and suicide attempts have still occurred from the Bridge. Many of these have resulted in a complete closure of the Bridge, sometimes for hours, requiring those traveling to or from Coronado Island, Naval Air Station North Island, and the Naval Amphibious Base, to reroute by way of the Silver Strand, a 23-mile detour adding 30 to 60 minutes of travel time per vehicle per incident. SR-75 is part of the Strategic Highway Network which provides defense access, continuity, and emergency capabilities for movement of personnel and equipment in both peace and war times.

Public Scoping

The public scoping period ended on July 14th, 2020. We are no longer accepting scoping comments.