Construction of a suicide prevention net at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is two years behind schedule because of problems with a contractor, authorities said Wednesday.
The suicide net is a coarse web of steel designed to catch and cradle people who jump. It was originally set to be completed in 2021.
The net won’t be ready until 2023 because of issues with the lead contractor, Shimmick Construction Co., which was sold two years ago, leading to many projects slowing down, district General Manager Denis Mulligan told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Studies from Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley suggest that a person who landed on the net is unlikely to jump again.
Since the bridge was built in 1937, at least 1,700 people have leapt to their deaths from it, according to the Bridge Rail Foundation, a group dedicated to stopping suicides from bridges.
The group describes the bridge as the “top suicide site in the world” and the only international landmark with such a history that doesn’t have a suicide deterrent installed.
Backers of the net say a two-year delay equals 60 lives lost.
City officials had estimated that the netting would cost $211 million to design, plan, and construct.
Editor’s note: If you are feeling distressed or concerned for a loved one’s wellbeing, help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. It provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911.
The California Peer-Run Warm Line also offers free support for nonemergency mental health issues, and can be reached at 855-845-7415 on 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.