After years of waiting, planning, pleading, discussing, and researching, a movable median barrier is set to be installed on the Golden Gate Bridge next year. The barrier will increase safety on the bridge and help relieve traffic congestion during rush-hour.
A similar barrier is already in use on the new Doyle Drive on the San Francisco approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a vast improvement compared to the previous plastic yellow tubes that separated the speeding traffic.
The same yellow tubes are currently on the Golden Gate Bridge and will stay in use until the barrier.
The barrier system utilizes a special truck designed to roll along the bridge without obstructing traffic. The truck would be in charge of moving the foot-wide, 32-inch-high barrier made of high-density concrete into place. The barrier would be adjusted depending on the traffic flow.
The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2013, according to Mary Currie, Golden Gate Bridge district spokeswoman. Funding for the $26.5 million project will come from $20 million in federal grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the remainder will be paid from toll revenue and other grant funds.
Doyle project spokeswoman Molly Graham told the IJ that the movable barrier on Doyle drive works great said:
“It has already prevented one head-on collision. It only takes about 10 minutes for the truck to move the barrier.”
Since 1971, there have been 36 fatalities on the span, with the last occurring on July 3, 2001.
Following a surge of head-on collisions in 1996 on the six-lane bridge, The City began talking about creating a movable barrier. However, after receiving conceptual approval in 1998 the proposal seemingly sputtered out, until now.