SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Golden Gate Bridge officials are trying to figure out why a suicide barrier is going to end up costing twice what they originally thought.
Officials have extended the bidding period another 90 days to find a less expensive builder and figure out where the extra money is going to come from.
Originally, the net was supposed to cost $75.6 million. But the two bids that have come in so far are significantly more than that. One bid is $174 million, the other $142 million.
Part of the problem is access. The suicide net will be 20 feet below the sidewalk but during construction, there still needs to be room for pedestrians and cyclists to get by.
Also, no one’s really done this kind of project before. Seeing what will work may also be what’s driving costs up.
District spokesperson Priya Clemens told KCBS Friday morning there are also tough environmental factors, the open corrosive salt air, the commute traffic, car, foot and bike.
The money for the original estimate has already been secured but not enough for what contractors are saying it’s really going to cost, so the district is also looking into why their original projections were way off base.