Aurora Bridge's anti-suicide makeover starts Monday

Aurora Bridge's anti-suicide makeover starts Monday »Play Video
The Aurora Bridge
SEATTLE - After years of debate and months of delays the Aurora Bridge is getting a makeover.

Starting Monday night, workers will begin building a fence to prevent people from jumping.

But reaction to the suicide barrier is mixed - and it's not only because there's expected to be a good amount of noise.

Some folks also don't want to mess with the aesthetics of the bridge that's nearly 80 years old.

"I kind of wish they weren't putting up the barrier," says Mario Gonzales of Westlake. "I like it how it is and not really reminding people that there's people up there jumping."

Still, many say it's worth it - if it prevents even one person from jumping off.

More than 230 people have jumped to their deaths on the Aurora Bridge since it was first built - making it the second-highest suicide rate for any bridge in the country, according to some figures.

So starting Monday, state transportation crews will resume work on the suicide prevention fence. It measures more than 8 feet tall, and will cost some $4 million.

For folks who have to deal with the sound of that bridge work, the Department of Transportation is offering free "industrial strength" earplugs. They've even set up a 24-hour hotline for anyone who might be impacted.

Drivers can expect a couple lanes to be closed Sunday through Thursday nights, starting Monday - with work expected to be complete late this year or early next year.