SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Drivers in the Bay Area will have to endure another bridge closure sometime next year, as the Golden Gate Bridge will be closed for more than two days to install a movable median barrier.
A center barrier to eliminate deadly head-on collisions has been talked about for decades. The Building and Operating Committee for the Golden Gate Bridge District will be asked to approve a design bid for a barrier designed for the challenges of the Golden Gate.
“All four lanes in the middle are ten feet. They are narrow,” said Ewa Bauer, Chief Engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge District.
The plan calls for a 12-inch wide and 32-inch high movable barrier to be put in place. It would include steel clad units filled with high density concrete and tightly pinned together to form the median barrier. The barrier will be adjusted based on traffic needs for the morning and afternoon commutes.
To install the barrier, the Bridge District will have to close the span, either in late October or early November of 2014, for approximately 52 straight hours, a first for the Golden Gate Bridge.
“We could not just say, please come and cross the bridge while we are doing all of this,” said Bauer.
Bauer said drivers will have to adapt as well. “We’ll do a campaign to tell them to slow down and learn how to navigate,” she said.
The estimated cost for the project is $26 million, $20 million of which will come from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission via the State of California.
The last fatal head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge occurred in 2001.
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