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15th Apr 2017

Suicide prevention net to be installed at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge

39 people lost their lives by jumping from the bridge in 2016 alone

Conor Heneghan

Installation of the suicide deterrent will begin in mid-2018.

A suicide deterrent system is to be installed on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, one of the most iconic bridges in the world.

On Thursday, politicians, community advocates, transportation agencies and families who have lost loved ones attended a ceremony commemorating the beginning of construction of the suicide deterrent system at the bridge, which will get underway next month.

In May, contractors will begin installing temporary fencing along the bridge approaches and around the tower legs, creating detailed measurements so they can begin manufacturing a stainless steel net that will span 1.7 miles of roadway on each side of the bridge.

Installation of the net itself will begin in mid-2018. It will be located 20 feet down from the sidewalk and extend 20 feet out over the water. It is anticipated that it will take four years to build with an expected completion date in 2021.

According to CNN, it is believed that almost 1,700 people have lost their lives by leaping from the bridge since it opened in 1937, including 39 in 2016 alone.

Similar deterrent systems have been used in various locations around the world, but never on this scale and, according to a report by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, suicide barriers have proven extremely effective.

The report references a 1978 Sieden study at the Golden Gate Bridge, which showed that 90 percent of those stopped from jumping did not later die by suicide or other violent means.

A Harvard School of Public Health article reviewing numerous studies, meanwhile, showed more broadly that “nine out of ten people who attempt suicide and survive will not go on to die by suicide at a later date”.

Speaking at the ceremony on Thursday, Kymberlyrenee Gamboa, who lost her 18-year-old son Kyle to suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2013 and who, along with her husband, has been a strong advocate for a physical suicide deterrent, said: “Kyle is what led us to the journey to the Golden Gate Bridge, and to ask how and why suicide could happen here, and how to prevent future suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge.”

“Today marks the beginning of the end of suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge,” she added.

“Soon, no family will experience the devastation and tragedy of a suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge.”


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