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Golden Gate 'Suicide Barrier' Work Set to Begin

Thursday, March 1, 2018

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Work on the Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier is set to commence this week, according to reports, beginning with steel needed to support the net, being cut in Oregon.

Since December 2016, when the bridge board agreed to award a building contract to Shimmick/Danny’s Joint Venture, most of the work has been done away from the span, but work on the bridge proper is set to begin this year.

Barrier Design and History

Construction of the marine-grade stainless-steel net is expected to be complete in 2021, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District. The net will extend 20 feet out from the bridge on each side, and will hang 20 feet below the deck.

As John Eberle, deputy district engineer for the District, explained in 2015 when the project first went to bid, the net will consist of steel wires, about 5/32 of an inch thick, fastened to 8-inch-by-8-inch horizontal steel supports that will be cantilevered out from under the bridge.

Rendering: Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

Work on the Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier is set to commence this week, according to reports, beginning with steel needed to support the net, being cut in Oregon.

The plan to situate the net 20 feet down from the deck stems from the idea that a fall from that height will deter potential jumpers, as jumpers would likely sustain non-fatal injuries on impact with the net. Fines will likely be instituted as well, in order to discourage recreational jumping.

The likelihood of injury, combined with the steep angle of the net, would make it difficult for a would-be jumper to escape the net and jump again after the first attempt, according to plans. If a person were to jump, a snooper truck would be brought in, and rescue workers would recover the individual, according to plans released early in the project’s life.

Barrier Update

According to Ewa Bauer, bridge engineer, affixing the supports to the bridge will begin mid-year. Each will be installed at the bottom of the truss of the suspension bridge to allow for the installation of the barrier and other project elements. Bauer also noted that shop drawings would be sped up for all elements of the structural steel “so we can have continuous and expeditious construction.”

The net itself will be gray rather than red, to better blend in with the water.

Jan. 12, 2021, is the target date for project completion.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Contractors; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Safety

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