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Arizona tourist town pushing ahead with bridge barrier to prevent suicides

Rendering of the proposed fence (Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX — Officials in a popular Arizona destination town will be holding a meeting next week to discuss a proposed fence to prevent suicides from a bridge.

The Sedona City Council will be holding a meeting on July 26 to discuss the chain-link fence around Midgley Bridge that the Arizona Department of Transportation has recommended as a barrier to prevent suicides.

The proposed fence will be 10 feet tall with two-inch-wide openings to prevent anyone from trying to climb over it.

“We are concerned that despite local community efforts, there will continue to be loss of life. Not only are these incidents tragic, but the profound effects on our community and our emergency providers who respond to these events cannot be measured,” Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty said last month in a release.

Moriarty also invited residents to an information session on the fence.

The state agency and the city partnered up after the bridge, which is just outside city limits and on U.S. Forest Service land, was the site of four suicides last year and one this year.

Sedona officials previously said that the design of the barrier would be somewhat limited by not only the original engineering of the bridge but also by the structure’s spot on the National Registry of Historic Places, which makes it subject to federal design standards.

The bridge opened in 1939 and made the historic places registry in 1989.

The city began putting up signs on the bridge last September urging anyone considering jumping to call a suicide hotline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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