Bridges get new jumping signs

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Updated August 11

New signs warning people against jumping off Little Bridge in Oak Bluffs and Big Bridge, also known as “Jaws Bridge,” in Edgartown were installed on Wednesday. During a Dukes County Commissioners Zoom meeting, county manager Martina Thornton updated commissioners on the signs.

The signs, particularly at Little Bridge, were set up because of the injuries people have sustained while jumping off them. Last August, a young man jumped off Little Bridge and suffered a serious neck injury

Christine Todd, chair of the Dukes County commissioners, said she still sees people jumping off the bridges, and has received multiple calls from concerned residents. People are not heeding the signs. Todd wanted to know whether it would be better to be “more cryptic” with the signs and allude to the injuries people have gotten from jumping off Little Bridge. There have not been any serious injuries or deaths from people jumping off Big Bridge. 

Thornton said the signs are very clear. They come with an infographic showing a diving person’s head hitting the rocks below. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” said Thornton. 

Commissioner Leon Brathwaite asked whether the commissioners would face liability issues if an injury occurred on the bridge after the signs were put up. Thornton said there would be no liability issues for the county since the bridge and the highway are state-owned. So the commissioners can put up the sign, but there is a limit to what they can do to the bridges. 

Thornton said she has already sent many letters asking the state to redesign Big Bridge to prevent jumping. 

Commissioner Tristan Israel echoed the state’s unresponsiveness to fixing the bridges’ problems. At one point, the commissioners wanted to build a barrier between the bridge and the road to mitigate dangerous situations. “The state kind of blew us off on that, and I think that is another accident that is waiting to happen,” said Israel. 

16 COMMENTS

  1. “There have not been any serious injuries or deaths from people jumping off Big Bridge.”
    So, why are we stopping people having fun? How many moped deaths and injuries have we had? We don’t stop that. How many automobile deaths? We don’t stop driving. The Little Bridge, I understand, it’s too shallow. Tell people that. Otherwise, let it go. Take up skydiving and get some perspective.

  2. I can appreciate the idea of stopping people from jumping off the bridges, but, I’m afraid, if, a barrier is installed to stop the jumpers, it may also prevent people from fishing from the bridge.

  3. Terrible to want to prevent people from jumping off the Big Bridge! With no injuries or deaths, what is the harm in letting our kids have some summer fun? Do we have to protect everyone from everything? How about stopping the vehicles and crowds from coming here? It is much more dangerous then it used to be on our roads. People need to take some responsibility for themselves and their own personal safety. That’s how we all learn. It is nice to hold on to a bit of freedom. Let them jump!

  4. Stop people from jumping off the big bridge ? I don’t think so.
    We can’t get people to get a corvid shot.
    When government agents kick down the doors of the unvaccinated , hold them down and jab the needle into their arms to protect them from their own idiocy, I will be on board with them preventing people from jumping off the bridge to protect them from their own idiocy.

  5. No injuries from jumping off the Big Bridge aka JAWS Bridge… so let them…. they have been doing it for decades…. and nothing… its obviously safe enough… STOP THE MOPEDS before you stop the kids from having fun….. GET RID OF THE MOST DANGEROUS THING ON MV….. MOPEDS…….

  6. When was there a vote in shutting down the big bridge? Was this presented to the community? Why would this even come to the table if there’s no injuries, aka reason, to stop it? That little bridge is so obviously shallow, that makes sense, but a random moratorium on injury-less activity is pointless and self serving to whoever brought it up

  7. This is so so stupid! It is dangerous to jump off little bridge, it isn’t dangerous to jump off big bridge! Putting signs on both bridges will make it seem fine to jump off little bridge. DUMB!!!!!!!!

  8. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a lifeguard do a backflip off the Big Bridge with a Corona in his hand in front of a cop so I don’t really know how much that’s going to help there.

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