PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Another Vista Bridge suicide occurred Tuesday morning, marking the fourth jumping death this year from the Southwest Portland landmark.
Portland police report that the male victim was found dead at about 5 a.m. under the bridge, on Southwest Jefferson Street. The Oregon State Medical Examiner was scheduled to conduct an autopsy.
Last week, in response to the recent spike in suicides, Portland city officials announced that a 9-foot tall mesh screen would be installed on what has become informally known as “suicide bridge.”
Construction was scheduled to begin this month. The screen is designed to offer a temporary solution while the city works with the State Historic Preservation Office to examine possible long-term resolutions, which could take over two years. A more durable bridge addition is expected to cost $2.5 to $3 million. Such renovation would have to be consistent with the bridge’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.
On June 5, a 15-year-old girl jumped off the bridge and landed on the MAX tracks below, shutting down service in both direction for several hours. The four deaths so far in 2013 now make for the highest total in any recent year.
More than 170 people are estimated to have jumped off the bridge since it opened in 1926.