Installation of suicide prevention net delayed at Golden Gate Bridge

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It took years of convincing the bridge board to install a net to save lives at the Golden Gate Bridge, but the system has been delayed.

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project has been underway for about 18 months.

The bridge highway and transportation district announced Wednesday it will be up to two years behind schedule. The reason — the lead contractor.

“We’re very disappointed by this news. It’s very frustrating to hear,” Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz said. “We are working with the contractor to make sure this project is completed as soon as possible.”

Cosulich-Schwartz with the bridge district said the construction company they were working with was in the process of being sold.

The challenge has been familiarizing new construction units with the project. And installing work platforms needed to access locations.

The net – made of metal – attached to the bridge will be 20 feet below the sidewalk and extend 20 feet out from the bridge to prevent people from harming themselves.

“It saddens me that the golden gate bridge suicide deterrent that system has been delayed,” Van Hedwall.

He said this barrier is the best shot at preventing suicides on the bridge.

“The nets on the bridge will provide a great deterrent that would hopefully lead to linkage to community services and may help that person overcome their suicidal thoughts behaviors and actions,” he said.

Backers of the suicide barrier say a two-year delay equals 60 lives lost. 

Officials said nearly 1,700 people have jumped  since the bridge opened in 1937. 

“We continue to have bridge patrol on our sidewalks, 24/7 intervening with people who attempt to harm themselves on the bridge,” Cosulich-Schwartz said.

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