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Pasadena Suicide Bridge







The Colorado Street Bridge is a historic concrete arch bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California.

The majestic 1913 Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California not only wowed early travelers crossing the causeway, but soon took on a more sinister note when people began to leap from the 150 foot bridge to their death. Within a decade of its construction, locals had begun to call it the "Suicide Bridge,” and as you can imagine, legends began to abound that the bridge was haunted be those unfortunate souls.

The beautiful concrete bridge spans 1,467 feet across the Arroyo Seco, a deeply cut canyon linking the San Gabriel Mountains to the Los Angeles River, and containing the intermittent Arroyo Seco Stream for which it is named. The bridge is often incorrectly referred to as the "Arroyo Seco Bridge."




The Colorado Street Bridge was designed and built in 1913 by the firm of Waddell & Harrington, based in Kansas City, Missouri. The structure carries Colorado Boulevard (then called "Colorado Street"), the major east-west thoroughfare connecting Pasadena with Eagle Rock and Glendale to the west, and with Monrovia to the east. It spans 1,486 feet (453 m) and is notable for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, light standards, and railings. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by theAmerican Society of Civil Engineers.

In the 1970s, the bridge was a filming location in Episode 13 of the TV series Emergency! fifth season where a boy was shown trapped (the bridge was given the fictitious name Johnson Canyon Bridge in the episode).In 1989, after the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic. It was reopened in 1993 after a substantial retrofit. The bridge is closed each summer for a festival, "A Celebration on the Colorado Street Bridge", hosted by historic preservation group Pasadena Heritage

The bridge was site of the beginning of The Amazing Race season 21. The contestants had to rappel down the side of the bridge to their waiting cars to start the race
During the early part of the twentieth century, the Colorado Street Bridge became known locally as "Suicide Bridge", after dozens of people leapt to their deaths. A barrier was installed in an effort to deter suicides, but the bridge retained its nickname. To this day, some still use the bridge as a means to end their lives. For example, on October 27, 2015, British-American model and reality television star Sam Sarpong committed suicide by jumping from the bridge.




The first tragedy on the bridge occurred before construction was even complete. Allegedly, when one of the bridge workers toppled over the side and plunged headfirst into a vat of wet concrete, his co-workers assumed he could not be saved in time and left his body in the quick-drying cement. His is only one of the many souls said to haunt the "Suicide Bridge.”

The first suicide occurred on November 16, 1919 and was followed by a number of others, especially during the Great Depression. Over the years, it is estimated that more than 100 people took their lives leaping the 150 feet into the arroyo below. One of the more notable suicides was when a despondent mother threw her baby girl over the railing on May 1, 1937. She then followed her into the depths of the canyon. Though the mother died, her child miraculously survived. Evidently, her mother had inadvertently tossed her into some nearby trees, and she was later recovered from the thick branches.


According to the tales, a number of spirits are said to wander the bridge itself as well as the arroyo below. Others have heard unexplained cries coming from the canyon. One report tells of spectral man that is often seen wandering the bridge who wears wire rimmed glasses. Other people have claimed to see a woman in a long flowing robe, who stands atop one of the parapets, before vanishing as she throws herself off the side.

In the arroyo below, phantom forms have been seen walking the river bed, a number of unexplainable sounds are often heard, and the atmosphere is often described as "thick.”

The Colorado Street Bridge was part of Route 66 until 1940 when the Arroyo Seco Parkway opened. Today, the bridge has received a Civil Engineering Landmark designation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mother Road Icon was the center of tragic news again in late October of 2015 when noted Actor, Model and Musician Sam Sarpong took his own life by jumping off the bridge.


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