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New funding plan in works for suicide deterrent on Golden Gate Bridge

Estimated cost was $76 million, but lowest bid came in at $120 million

There is a new funding plan for a proposed suicide deterrent barrier under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The initial cost of the horizontal 385,000-square-foot steel net project 20 feet below the bridge was estimated at $76 million, but the low bid came in at about $120 million over the engineer's estimate when capital outlay costs are included.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District determined re-bidding would not likely result in lower bids, and the District extended the bidding until January. The current bid estimate is now $204 million.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which is sharing the funding for the project with the Golden Gate Bridge District and Caltrans, initially committed $27 million for the project.

MTC staff is now recommending contributing $40 million in federal money, and the MTC's Programming and Allocations Committee is holding a public hearing Wednesday morning at the Bay Area Metro Center in San Francisco on increasing its contribution.

Both Caltrans and the GGBHT District also would contribute $40 million under the new funding proposal.

Bridge District spokeswoman Dana Fehler said if the MTC approves its $40 million contribution, the Bridge District's Board will vote on approving its $40 million share on Dec. 16.

Caltrans also is expected to vote on the new plan in early December.

James Lanaras, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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