OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) _ The Suicide Deterrent System on the Golden Gate Bridge has received a major funding boost.

In a unanimous vote, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission board voted to fund part of the $50 million project.

MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler said the $5 million will go towards the design phase of the steel-cable netting on the span.

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“Unless you do the design, unless you do the planning, then you don’t ever get to the final decision of building it or not,” said Rentschler. “So we’re really getting a position to get into that spot.”

John Brooks of Marin County was particularly interested in the funding for this proposed suicide prevention barrier.

“My daughter’s name is Casey Brooks. She jumped off the bridge when she was my only child,” he said. “And she jumped off the bridge when she was 17.”

That was in 2008. Paul Miller of the Bridge Rail Foundation said barriers are effective in substantially reducing the number of suicides on bridges such as the Golden Gate.

“We have 40 years worth of research that tells us this will actually prevent these deaths,” said Miller. “But that’s not well understood by the public and a great deal more work has to be done to get people to understand how suicide can be prevented.”

Since 1937, more than 1,300 people have died by suicide on the iconic span.

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