Golden Gate Bridge suicide net cost doubles to nearly $400M
The suicide prevention net on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is already years behind schedule
A suicide prevention net on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge that is already years behind schedule will cost about $400 million, more than double its original price, because of problems sparked by the government agency that manages the span, the lead contractors allege.
The allegations filed Monday in state court by Shimmick Construction Co. and Danny’s Construction Co. say that changes to and flaws in the government’s net design as well as the lack of transparency about the deterioration of the bridge’s maintenance platforms have raised the construction price from $142 million to at least $398 million.
“We were alarmed to discover the District concealed significant information during the proposal phase of the Project, including extensive deterioration in certain areas of the bridge,” Shimmick said in a statement.
A man jogs past a sign about crisis counseling on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Aug. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg / AP Newsroom)
The project aims to add 20-foot-wide (6-meter-wide) stainless steel mesh nets on both sides of the 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) bridge and replace maintenance platforms used by bridge workers that were built in the 1950s.
Work on the net began in 2018 and was set to be completed by January 2021 but has been repeatedly delayed. Now, the project is expected to be finished in 2023.
Bridge officials in 2008 voted to move forward with the net, meant to deter those looking to jump to their deaths and catch those who do.
Paul Muller, president of the Bridge Rail Foundation, a nonprofit created to end suicides on the bridge, said the span with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco bay has been the site of nearly 2,000 suicides since it opened in 1937, including 25 last year alone.