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Caltrans Ordered to Pay Group’s Legal Fees in Bridge Barrier Dispute

Judge confirms a tentative ruling in favor of Friends of the Bridge, which sued over environmental documents related to the project

In upholding Monday’s tentative ruling, Judge Thomas Anderle ruled Tuesday that Caltrans must pay nearly $125,000 in legal fees to an advocacy group’s attorneys after they claimed that the agency had left important information out of the environmental documents for the proposed suicide barrier on the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge.

Friends of the Bridge sued Caltrans over California Environmental Quality Act processes involved with putting up a barrier, and Anderle ruled in favor of the group in July.

Caltrans was ordered to recirculate the environmental documents, which now include barrier alternatives left out of the original, and construction was put on hold.

In Monday’s tentative ruling, Anderle wrote that the actions of Friends of the Bridge “enforced an important right affecting the public interest.”

Completed in 1963, 54 documented suicides have occurred on the bridge since — including two this year — prompting Caltrans and The Glendon Association to pursue a physical barrier.

A public hearing to showcase the new documents will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 5 in the cafeteria at San Marcos High School, 4750 Hollister Ave. The documents are available online and at a handful of locations. Click here for more information.

The 45-day comment period ends Jan. 24. Comments can be sent to senior environmental planner Matt Fowler at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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