In the 1970s, the bridge was a filming location in Episode 13 of the TV series Emergency! fifth season where a boy was shown trapped (the bridge was given the fictitious name Johnson Canyon Bridge in the episode). In 1989, after the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic. It was reopened in 1993 after a substantial retrofit. The bridge is closed each summer for a festival, "A Celebration on the Colorado Street Bridge", hosted by historic preservation group Pasadena Heritage.
During the early part of the twentieth century, the Colorado Street Bridge became known locally as "Suicide Bridge", after dozens of people leapt to their deaths. A barrier was installed in an effort to deter suicides, but the bridge retained its nickname. To this day, some still use the bridge as a means to end their lives. For example, on October 27, 2015, British-American model and reality television star Sam Sarpong committed suicide by jumping from the bridge.