Golden Gate barrier study document
delayed eight months
By James Lanaras
October 17, 2007
An environmental document on a proposed suicide prevention barrier
on the Golden Gate Bridge is going to take longer than expected.
The draft environmental study was expected to be completed by
this month but now won't be finished and ready for public comment
until mid-2008, according to Mary Currie, the spokeswoman for
the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. The
final document is anticipated in late 2008, Currie said.
There was a change July 1 in the way the Federal Highway Administration
participates in the review of environmental documents prepared
in California, Currie said. The review responsibility was delegated
to Caltrans from the Federal Highway Administration.
Currie said the delay is due in part to the "growing pains'
of the transition.
"We cannot side-step this process and will continue to work
as hard as we can to move this project through the environmental
process successfully," she said.
Wind tunnel testing that was completed in May focused on three
generic concepts for a suicide prevention barrier; adding to the
existing railing, replacing the existing railing and using nets
that cantilever out horizontally, Currie said.
The district has been working since June on the second phase
of the study which entails evaluating the generic concepts that
passed wind tunnel tests in accordance with required federal and
state environmental laws and reviews, Currie said.
Because the Golden Gate Bridge is eligible for inclusion in the
National Register of Historic Places, it is afforded protection
under state and federal preservation laws.
"In accordance with these laws, the District, in addition
to developing and releasing for public comment a draft environmental
document, will be consulting with appropriate state and federal
agencies throughout the process," Currie said.
The original study schedule was "ambitious", Currie
said. More than 1,250 people have jumped from the Golden Gate
Bridge since 1937, and an average of two people jump each month.
Updates on the progress of the barrier studies and documents
are available at www.ggbsuicidebarrier.org.
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