St. Cloud Railroad Bridge – Why is it Still Wide Open?
A recent death as well as an attempted suicide has happened on the St. Cloud railroad bridge in the last couple months. Why hasn't the city made this bridge safer?
If you've ever walked near the St. Cloud railroad bridge entrance off of 5th Avenue near downtown, it's very eerie to go anywhere near it. The entry onto the bridge has a rocky drop to the path below, while the bridge itself consists of railroad ties that are a few inches apart from each other looking straight down to the river below. There's no side rails or barriers on either side as well.
Sure, some might say "don't go on the bridge and you don't have anything to worry about", but obviously if it's there and easy to access, then people are going to go on it.
The case of Jesse Dady is a prime example of what could happen any evening in St. Cloud. He disappeared on March 25th and was last seen on security video walking on the bridge after a night of drinking. He fell off the bridge into the Mississippi below and was found dead a few hundred yards down the river. This bridge isn't far from a mecca of bars downtown in a city that is a major college town.
A few days ago, WJON reported that police responded to a middle-age man sitting on the bridge talking suicidal. He was easily able to walk on the bridge and contemplate jumping to his death, either from drowning in the river, or hitting on of the concrete pads straight below.
There's 2 apartment buildings on either side of the bridge within 100 feet of the entrance of the bridge. If a child lives in either of these, they could easily walk to the bridge and lose their life.
My question to the city of St. Cloud is why is the bridge still this accessible and doesn't have sides on it? Put a tall fence on the sides of the bridge and connect the fence at the entrance so the edge is completely closed off. I don't know why this would be difficult, and would certainly make a lot of people sleep better knowing another life wouldn't be taken from this dangerous bridge. Am I missing something here?