Golden Gate Bridge to finally get movable center barrier

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Golden Gate Bridge is getting ready for something new, a movable center median that could make head-on collisions a thing of the past on the iconic span.

The movable barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge has been talked about for decades, but it's finally set to happen.

Commuter Richard Fong says it's about time.

"I've seen accidents," he said. "I've had many friends who've been in accidents."

The movable barrier is only 12 inches wide, but very heavy. Each section weighs 1,500 pounds. A zipper truck can move the barrier to reconfigure traffic lanes. To install it, the bridge will close to traffic the weekend of Jan. 10 and 11 of 2015. Starting this weekend, left lanes of Highway 101 will close near Alexander Avenue for some prep work.

Since 1970, 36 people have died in collisions on the bridge, which is not surprising given that there's little room for error.

"The most important thing is we know this barrier will save us from any more head on collisions and we're hoping it will save lives," said Priya Clemens, a spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge.

Many bridge drivers don't drive in the left lane because the yellow cones don't offer much protection.

"The barrier may give me some more comfort, from the fear someone could come into the lane," commuter Suzanne Sylvester said.

Ray Lynch said he worries changing the barrier will take too long and be a distraction for drivers.

"It'll aid in safety aspect, but will cause more frustration in time element," Lynch said.

Changing the lanes will take about 45 minutes. The project will cost $30 million.
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