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Further safety improvements are planned for the parking lot known for its suicides

Following the addition of a fence in January in an effort to prevent suicides on the upper level of the Fifth and Walnut municipal parking garage, further glazed space safety upgrades are planned for the downtown structure this fall. .

The City of Columbia is working to finalize a contract to install steel screens on the lower levels. Although a contractor has been selected, City staff could not reveal which company as a notice to proceed has not yet been issued.

The Columbia City Council in March authorized the public works department to solicit bids for the screens.

The staff had originally aimed for a summer start date, the Tribune previously reported.

Previously: What the Fifth and Walnut downtown Columbia parking lot window screens might look like

The screens will cover 150 openings of varying lengths.

The project is expected to cost $504,000 from the city’s general fund.

Action has been taken by the city following more than half a dozen suicides at the parking lot since its construction in 2011. The city also received a citizen petition asking for safety improvements.

After: New security barriers under construction at Columbia at the Fifth and Walnut parking garage

The National Suicide Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is always open. The Mid-Missouri Crisis Line is 1-800-395-2132. The Missouri Suicide/Crisis hotline is 314-469-6644.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins