Construction on the safety barrier for the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge was recently completed. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the effort to get this lifesaving project underway and seen through to the end.

It’s a truly beautiful thing.

On May 31, Judge Thomas Anderle requested that steps be taken to make possible the resumption of construction on the barrier at the Cold Spring Arch Bridge. This is great news! Hopefully we will soon see the installation of this important safety measure resume unimpeded. I’ll be sure to let you know when the project gets back on track. Keep your fingers crossed!

You can read the ruling [the analysis at the end is the salient part] here.

Thursday, March 17 at 8:30am

Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room
511 East Lakeside Parkway
Santa Maria, CA

The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

Construction on the bridge barrier was halted on July 13 of this year, less than one month after it began. The judge who delivered the decision to suspend construction stated that Caltrans needed to receive more community feedback about the environmental impact of the project before it could be permitted to move forward. On July 16, three days after construction was suspended, another man died after having jumped from the bridge. The barrier was due to be completed this past September.

There will be a public hearing on the environmental impact of the barrier in January, the details are as follows:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 from 5:30 to 7:30

San Marcos High School cafeteria
4750 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93110

What you can do
To add your voice of support and to help move the construction of the barrier forward you can do the following things:

  • Review the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report which is currently available for download in pdf form on the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge project page on the Caltrans website.
  • Submit your comments on the report via email to Matt Fowler at matt_c_fowler@dot.ca.gov or via regular mail to the following address:
      50 Higuera Street
      San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
      Attn: Matt Fowler, Senior Environmental Planner

    Written comments must be submitted by January 24, 2011.

  • Attend the meeting on January 5. The public is encouraged to attend and Matt’s mother, Karen, will be there in support of construction of the barrier. Those of us who can’t be there in person will be there with her in spirit.

If you haven’t signed the petition in favor of the barrier, please do. And also be sure to visit my sister’s website stopthetragedy.org for updates on the Cold Spring Arch Bridge and information about safety barriers and suicide prevention.

Students and teachers at Cuesta College have designed and created an amazing garden in Matt’s memory on the Cuesta College campus. It’s a peaceful spot with views of the grassy landscape that abuts the college.

Many thanks to everyone who was involved with this project. It is a meaningful and poignant tribute to Matt. I know he would have loved it.

The Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth has been established as a scholarship fund through the Cuesta College Foundation. Anyone who would like to donate to this fund can do so both online and by mail. Instructions for doing so can be found on the Scholarship Endowment page of the Foundation for California Community Colleges website. To direct your donation to the fund, put “Cuesta College: Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth” as the designation on the mail-in form, and under “Gift Tribute” on the online form, select “Cuesta College” from the “Designate funds for a specific community college” drop-down menu, and type “For the Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth” in the “Further Information or comments for designating your gift” text box.

Thanks so much to anyone who makes a donation in Matt’s memory!

Hello Again

This site isn’t about me so I’m going to be as brief as I can possibly be about this. It’s been almost two years since I last posted something to the site and I want to ask for everyone’s forgiveness and understanding for this long lapse. My main worry is that anyone might think that my having pulled away from the site meant somehow that Matt wasn’t on my mind. On the contrary, I have thought about him every single day since the day that he died, and although in retrospect I am so glad that the site is here, in the months following his death, being responsible for the site made it impossible for me to have enough space to let my emotions rest. I always felt that I should be doing something here, or working on something that could be added soon, and I think that this made it difficult for me to properly mourn him. It quickly became too painful for me to continue to actively work on the site and I eventually decided that I needed to take some time off to give myself the ability to let my feelings chart their own course. It took far longer than I ever would have imagined for me to feel strong enough to come back and contribute more, but I finally feel like I’m ready. It’s still painful, I can’t imagine that it ever won’t be, but I finally feel that it’s at least manageable.

If anyone else has had similar pain over sharing their memories of Matt, please know that it’s never too late for you to contribute. There will always be this place where we can come to let each other know how we are dealing with his loss and talk about the experiences we had with him while he was still with us. And if you don’t feel that you can talk about your feelings publicly, you can always contact me directly. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I will always welcome contact from anyone who knew Matt.

I remember, after my mother told me that Matt was gone, saying over and over again, “Mom, I want him back. I just want him back.” Over two years have passed, and I know at this point that there will never be a day that goes by when I won’t feel this way. The same is true for all of us who knew and loved him, we will all always want him back with us. He was the most precious, precious gem.