Golden Gate Bridge to get $50-mn suicide net

October 11th, 2008 - 8:46 am ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, Oct 11 (DPA) The world famous Golden Gate Bridge is to get a $50-million suicide net after bridge bosses ruled that it was more important to save lives than preserve the structure’s classic lines.An average of 20 people commit suicide each year by climbing over the 1.2 metre railing and plunging some 75 metres to the San Francisco Bay below.

Last year 37 people leapt to their death from the 1,280-metre-long span that links San Francisco to Marin County to the north. A further 17 have committed suicide so far this year.

The steel nets would hang some six meters on each side of the bridge, extending some six meters out, and will have a minimal impact on the landmark’s profile, board members said.

“The net offers a way to do the most humane and highest-minded thing … in a way that is aesthetically (minimal) as far as impacts on the bridge,” said board member Charles McGlashan.

Officials estimate the barrier will cost $40 million to $50 million to build, but there is still no decision on how to fund the project.

Officials will also have to undertake an environmental review to examine the effect of the suicide net on birds.

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