Los Angeles police and Coast Guard officials are investigating motives behind Scott's fatal leap on Sunday from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, a crown jewel of Los Angeles' southern port cities.
Named after California assemblyman Vincent Thomas of San Pedro, the span is a 1,500-foot-long suspension bridge, the fourth longest such structure in California.
Built in 1963, the bridge was built to replace the ferries that connected the port cities of San Pedro and Terminal Island to mainland Los Angeles.
For years, the VT Bridge, as it became known, was derided as a bridge to nowhere, but that changed in the 1970s when Los Angeles and Long Beach began to supplant San Francisco Bay cities as the state's principal port areas.
While officials never cited the VT bridge as a jumping hazard akin to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has taken several measures over the years to improve its safety. In the late '70s, the city erected fences at the base of the bridge that authorities said was to catch debris. But the chain-link holes are so small that locals speculated the design was meant to discourage climbers.
According to Caltrans figures, the spot on the bridge near where Scott parked his car is about 185 feet high.
In 2005, after 17 years spent raising funds, the city illuminated the bridge with 160 blue LED lights, powered by solar panels.
On Oct. 26, 1990, Larry Andreasen, a 1964 Olympic diving bronze medalist, died after trying to set a diving record from the west tower of the bridge, a 385-foot plummet, the equivalent of leaping from the top of a 38-story building.
"We've never had a real problem that I know of" with jumpers, says Caltrans spokeswoman Maria Reptis. "We don't really keep track of that category."