Colorado Street Bridge Enhancements

Pasadena, California

For decades, the Colorado Street Bridge has attracted people looking to take their lives by jumping from the bridge. This has not diminished to the present day. National and international studies show that when a jumper can be deterred, in most cases they don’t try again. Changes to the bridge have been attempted over time including the addition of various types of barriers as well as non-structural interventions.
In 2018, the Colorado Street Bridge Task Force, after a comprehensive process of problem identification, presented alternative recommendations to replace the temporary fencing with a permanent solution. The City of Pasadena is now finalizing the preferred option with the support of a consultant team.

Donald Macdonald Architects is working with Biggs Cardosa and GPA Consulting to continue the Bridge Task Force’s process solution. In collaboration with City staff and officials, the mental health community, first responders, and subject matter experts, the project has developed solutions that will provide an effective deterrent, while also preserving the structure’s national historic status and architectural significance.

The architectural options complement the existing Beaux-Arts architecture, proportions, and materiality. Solutions exhibit design sensitivity to both views of the bridge and from the bridge.