Golden Gate median barrier approved

September 12, 2008 12:14:15 PM PDT
Having a concrete moveable center divider on the Golden Gate Bridge is one step closer to reality; the Bridge Board of Directors has voted to move ahead with the next step.

On Friday, the board went from the talking stage to the actual check writing stage. The board voted to spend $2.8 million on an environment and engineering study for a median barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The vote puts the study on a 20 month completion timeline; it takes that long because the Golden Gate is considered to be an historic structure. The barrier itself will cost an estimated $25 million and use zipper trucks to move the barrier from lane to lane.

There have been 36 fatal crashes that have occurred that on the Golden Gate Bridge since 1971.

There are still engineering problems to work out.

"We have to look at how to anchor the barrier at the toll plaza as well as at the north end. There isn't a system that is created yet specifically to do that with the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a unique characteristic and we have to figure that out," said Mary Currie, bridge district spokeswoman.

The zipper trucks are huge and currently there is no place to park them. If everything goes okay with the engineering study, which is going to take about 20 months, in 2010 they can start buying the equipment, and by 2011 they can start installing the median barrier.