With the purpose of eliminating suicides off the Virilla river bridge on the Ruta 32, a security mesh is being installed on both sides of the bridge.
To reduce congestion, the work that began on Tuesday (Sept. 3) of this week is being carried out nightly from 8 pm to 5 am.
Drivers through the area can expect one lane of the two-lane bridge to the closed, the other with regulated passage.
The meshes are made of galvanized steel, with a height of 2.85 meters (9.3 feet) and with an inward inclination of 45 degrees in its upper part, so that it cannot be climbed.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those between 15 and 19 years old and the majority of fatalities (80%) are men.
According to data from the Directorate of Health Surveillance, the Ministry of Health, between 2014 and 2018, reported suicide attempts increased from 1,204 to 1,898. The rate per 100,000 inhabitants rose from 25.2 suicide attempts to 37.9 per 100,000 inhabitants in those four years.
Suicides, meanwhile, went from 278 in 2012, to 287 in 2017, according to the latest data reported by Health. The year with the most deaths is 2016, with 339. In more than 80% of them, men are the victims. The 2018 mortality data is not yet available.
Though numbers are not available, the Virilla river bridge, due to its height, has been a favorite of suicide attempts and completions, dubbed “suicide bridge”.
Meanwhile, work below continues with the construction of a new bridge, to expand it to four lanes.