The Brunswick City Commission will consider approving a resolution during Wednesday’s meeting asking state officials for suicide prevention measures on the Sidney Lanier Bridge.
If approved, the resolution would add weight to a similar one passed a couple of weeks ago by the Glynn County Commission.
There has been growing support for suicide prevention measures on the bridge in response to people plunging to their deaths since it was built in 2003. Community leaders have asked elected officials to support asking the state for help in response to the most recent suicide on Feb. 20 by a woman who jumped off the 185-foot bridge.
Mayor Cornell Harvey and Commissioner Julie Martin have already expressed support for the resolution.
A variety of preventative measures have been taken on bridges in other areas of the country to reduce or eliminate suicides.
Another reason the city is being asked to approve the resolution is because the jurisdiction is divided between the city and county. The split jurisdiction sometimes creates debates between which side of the bridge the victims jump from to determine who investigates the death.
Security is another potential concern on the bridge. The channel is vulnerable, and there are no security cameras on or under the bridge where terroristic activities could be conducted.
Also, people have tossed trash and other objects from the bridge onto the decks of cargo ships creating a safety hazard for the crew. If someone tossed bomb into the smokestack of a cargo ship it could conceivably disable the vessel and block the channel leading to and from the Port of Brunswick.
In a worst-possible scenario, the bridge could also be damaged by the currents and tide pushing a disabled cargo ship.
Some bridges have phones with a hotline number for people considering suicide, along with public education programs. Other bridges have fencing or other barriers, which studies show are the most effective way to prevent suicide attempts.
Commissioners will also consider another resolution at the meeting to amend the annual budget.
The meeting will begin 6 p.m. at Old City Hall, 1229 Newcastle St. in the second-floor commission chambers.