Port Angeles council adds bridge barriers to plans; thousands donated to suicide-prevention project

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has added Eighth Street bridge barriers to the 2018-2023 capital facilities and transportation improvement plans, making the city eligible for state funding to help pay for the safety improvement.

The council also voted Tuesday to authorize a donation policy to accept contributions for bridge barriers and discussed engineering options for the protective screenings aimed at preventing suicides. All three votes were unanimous.

Meanwhile, Community and Economic Development Director Nathan West announced Tuesday that the city had received a $10,000 donation and a $100,000 pledge to help fund the bridge improvements.

Seven people have jumped to their deaths from the 100-foot-tall bridges over Tumwater and Valley creeks since they opened with 4-foot, 6-inch railings in 2009. Three of those deaths occurred since June.

Permanent options for the bridges include an estimated $1 million curved chain link fence, an estimated $2.1 million wire mesh protective fence or a combination of the two, city officials said.

Both the chain link fence and wire mesh fence would be about eight to nine feet tall, the council learned.

Short-term options include closing the bridge to pedestrians, temporary construction fencing or fence posts with chain link fencing or netting.

The council will discuss the short- and long-term options at its next meeting on Dec. 19.

More donations were made during the 4 1/2-hour-long meeting.

Racheal Johnson, who organized a protest after 15-year-old Ashley Wishart jumped to her death from the Valley Creek bridge Nov. 13, told the council that she had raised $354 through a bake sale and $30 in a raffle.

“I’ll match you dollar for dollar,” Mayor Patrick Downie said.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

More in News

PHOTO: Getting a trim

Lukas Teague, 10, of Port Angeles, a member of… Continue reading

Iowa woman dies in ONP

A 29-year old Iowa woman suffered a fatal… Continue reading

DUI patrols to increase leading up to Labor Day weekend

Law enforcement agencies across the Olympic Peninsula will increase DUI patrols Friday… Continue reading

Dental experts question benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste

By Jeff Donn The Associated Press Dental health experts worry that more… Continue reading

NEWS BRIEFS: School vaccinations offered now … and other items

Clallam County Health & Human Resources is offering youth vaccinations before the… Continue reading

North Olympic Peninsula homeless mostly home-grown, according to official

Contrary to popular myth, social service agencies in other… Continue reading

Measure now off the ballot: Clallam finance department question paperwork late

The Clallam County commissioners’ plans of putting a measure… Continue reading

Most Read