SAN FRANCISCO—The city of San Francisco will continue to move forward on plans to build a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge despite bids that far exceeded initial estimates, over twice as much.
The plan, that was approved two years ago, is to install a 20-foot steel netting below the deck on both sides of the span. The initial estimate for the construction was $76 million.
Two of the bids received were released on Tuesday, July 12 and well exceeded planned funding. The low bid, from Shimmick/Danny’s Joint Venture of Oakland, came in at $142 million. The other bid, from American Bridge of Coraopolis, PA., was for $174 million.
Golden Gate Bridge Spokeswoman, Priya Clemens, expects the bids to possibly delay construction, but should not deter the district from backing away from the plan.
Clemens said in a statement, “Unfortunately, we continue to have suicides on the bridge. There were 33 last year. It’s just not acceptable to let that continue. The district is still committed to saving lives on the bridge.”
Bridge officials will now have the task of analyzing the bid documents and trying to figure out why the estimates were so far off. The bids can be rejected and the district can search from new bids from companies.
If the district were to find nothing wrong with documents and comes to the conclusion that they merely underestimated, then a contract will be awarded and the district will be given the task to find more funding. Current funding includes $27 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, $22 million from Caltrans, $20 million from the bridge district, and $7 million from state Mental Health Services Act funds, according to the SF Gate.