As construction begins today on long-awaited suicide-prevention nets underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein were on hand to give their remarks at a somewhat somber ribbon cutting. "For too many, the Golden Gate Bridge is a reminder of lost loved ones," Pelosi said. In 2016, 39 people committed suicide on the bridge, but patrol workers prevented another 200 deaths.
The deterrent and prevention system won't be complete for years, and it's been delayed for years now. Bids for the project last summer came in considerably higher than originally estimated, and the final pricetag will be $139 million, officials told NBC Bay Area. The project is scheduled to be finished in 2021.
"The deterrent system will actually consist of twin nets woven out of stainless steel rope whose expanse would span seven football fields," the MTC explained in December. "The nets will be cantilevered from either side of the 1.7-mile-long span and hang 20 feet below the pedestrian deck, meaning a jumper would fall the equivalent of two stories before hitting the nets. He or she would likely suffer injuries but survive. Painted gray to blend in with the water below, the nets won’t obstruct views of or from the iconic bridge."
In addition to the cost of the twin nets and their installation, California Highway Patrol will be paid for opening and closing lanes to traffic at night, when most construction work on the bridge nets will occur.