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Golden Gate Bridge suicide barriers proposed

  • Proposed Golden Gate Bridge suicide deterrent alternative 1A looking south.

The red rises of San Francisco?s Golden Gate Bridge, long a destination for suicide attempts, are one step closer to a historic safety face-lift as public comment begins on five suicide-prevention designs.

Four of the five designs would use additional fencing along the bridge?s walkways, dissuading potential jumpers and getting in the way of those who might try.

A fifth design places a retracting net 20 feet under the bridge, to catch and restrain people who have jumped over the railing.

G.G. Bridge suicide barrier

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Bridge District Spokeswoman Mary Currie said the five designs all meet specific standards, including potential cultural and historic impacts.

?We are introducing new elements, a big railing or a big net,? Currie said. ?We are changing the visitor?s experience.?

The district?s net option is the cheapest, at $25 million. Railing options could run $40 to $50 million. Those costs are expected to increase over the course of the project as the price of steel, the bridge?s main building material, continues to rise.

After selecting a plan, fund-raising for it is the next major hurdle, Currie said.

?It is the next hurdle but it is not insurmountable,? she said.

This year, 10 people have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Twenty-nine people have been stopped in the process of attempting to jump. Last year, 38 suicides were committed on the bridge, an increase from the annual average 20 to 22 suicides.

At the district?s press conference to present the plans Monday afternoon, suicide-prevention advocates cheered what they see as a momentous move toward placing a suicide barrier across one of the world?s most historic sites.


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