Suicide prevention barriers to be installed on Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Pinellas County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida Department of Transportation officials are moving ahead with a plan to put suicide barries along the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The Skyway Vertical Net project will start construction in the summer. The estimated cost is $3M and the project will take approximately 120 days to install.

FDOT previously implemented non-structural deterrence methods including installing six crisis hotline phones to connect with suicide prevention staff, funding 24-hour Florida Highway Patrol coverage, installing cameras to reduce response time, and installing signs that message suicide assistance is available.

The Florida Highway Patrol says a record 18 people killed themselves by jumping off the Skyway in 2018.

FDOT has also implemented pedestrian and stopped vehicle detectors which should also reduce response time when motorists park on the bridge.

The Vertical Net project will start construction in the summer.

If you or someone you love is battling depression or thoughts of suicide, help is always available by calling the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay at 211 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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