Colorado Street Bridge

In June 2017, the City of Pasadena began installation of 10-foot high fencing along the Colorado Street Bridge, which remains in place today as a temporary measure of dissuasion for suicide attempts off the bridge.  The City is seeking a permanent and responsibly-designed enhancement to the bridge railing to serve as an effective deterrent while preserving the national historic character and significance of the bridge.  The vision of the City is to allow the community to experience and enjoy the Colorado Street Bridge and the Arroyo as a safe and beautiful environment now and in the future.

Over the past two years, the City’s Public Works Department, along with renowned architect, Donald MacDonald Architects have engaged the public in developing barrier design options, taking into consideration the feedback and advisement of the City’s Historic Preservation Commission, the Design Commission and the Public Safety Committee.

On February 3, 2020 three refined design concepts were presented to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for their recommendations. As with the commissioners, the consensus amongst the Committee members was that full-scale mock-ups should be constructed of the preferred designs for better visualization and evaluation by the public before a specific design concept could be chosen.

Pursuant to the directive of the Public Safety Committee, the Public Works Department hired a contractor and has completed the fabrication and installation of full-scale mock-up panels of the top three preferred vertical barrier design concepts with two mesh options.

Community Outreach & Upcoming Public Meetings

The public is invited to review the full-scale barrier mock-ups and mesh options below and share their opinion and comments with the City via a public opinion survey.

The Department of Public Works and Donald MacDonald Architects will also be hosting a Virtual Open House to formally present the mock-ups and obtain public input. Subsequent to the Open House, Public Works will return to the City’s Historic Preservation Commission, the Design Commission and the Public Safety Committee to share public’s feedback, and seek advisement and recommendations to take to the City Council for their approval of a single design as the preferred barrier enhancement for the Colorado Street Bridge. For additional information on upcoming meeting dates and times, please refer to the Upcoming Events section for updates.

Contact Information

City of Pasadena
Public Works Department,
Engineering Division

Community Feedback Survey

Colorado Street Bridge Barrier Mock-Up Map

How will the lamp posts be extended in the final design?

Staff would be looking at two design options depending on the height. One option is a pedestal that would be complementary and more decorative than what you see now in the mock-up. The idea would be to not modify the lamp post itself and set them on these pedestals. For the taller option, like the pickets, Staff would consider keeping the light heads and the arms supporting the bulbs as is and replacing the actual light pole with the same style they are in now but just lengthened.

How were the mesh types chosen for the mock-up installations?

The chosen mesh in the mock-ups was that most preferred mesh when considering the input from community meetings, preservations groups, Design Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and Public Safety Committee members.

The mock ups are secured in place with angle iron braces. Is this part of the final design to secure the barrier to the railing?

The red brackets securing the panels to the existing balustrade are temporary supports for mock-up installation. They will not be part of the final design.

Was removing access to the alcoves and installing the barrier in front of the balustrade considered? This would result in a lower required barrier height in relationship to the sidewalk.

Bringing the fence down in front of the balustrades and sealing off the alcoves was one of the design team's very early studies shown in the community meeting presentations. Overwhelmingly from the participation in the community meetings and input from commission meetings and preservation groups, it was strongly opposed.

Is there an opportunity to view Option C in relationship to the lamp post?

Renderings are available for viewing of this option on the City's webpage.

Is the spacing between the pickets in Option C the same as the present pickets?

Option C spacing and pattern matches the existing picket fence on the bridge. However, in order to meet the effective height requirements, Option C is required to be 15' above the sidewalk.

The picket option has a straight vertical treatment around the lamp poles. Can something similar to that be achieved with the mesh panels?

That is an option that Staff can consider. It will be added to the project feedback for review.

How do you mitigate the reflections from the mesh in the afternoon?

There are treatments to the stainless steel that modify its composition. There are also some very long lasting applied treatments that can be implemented to further reduce that reflectivity.

Is it possible to reduce the member sizes of the picket panel mock-up?

No, both the pickets and frame around the mesh are minimally sized for the structural loading requirements.

Have you designed the end treatments that block access to the ledges? And if you have designs with options, where can we view them?

Renderings of the end treatments can be viewed in the October 29, 2019 Community Meeting presentation. This presentation is available on the project webpage under the Past Meetings 2017-2020 tab.

Please fill out the survey below and share your comments and feedback regarding the design concepts for barrier enhancements on the Colorado Street Bridge.