Board Voting Friday On Plan To Add Movable Median To Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District’s 19-member Board of Directors will vote Friday on whether to accept the final design and approve the purchase and installation of a moveable median barrier on the bridge.

Eleven members of the Board’s Building and Operating Committee/Committee of the Whole unanimously approved the proposal today.

The barrier is intended to improve safety and minimize cross-over, head-on accidents on the bridge.

There were 306 collisions with 83 injuries on the Golden Gate Bridge between 2006 and 2010 an accident rate of 0.85 per million vehicles, district spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

The last head-on fatality was in July 2001, Currie said.

The system consists of 12-inch-wide, 32-inch-high and 39-inch-long steel-clad units filled with high-density concrete pinned together to form a semi-rigid moveable barrier. Each of the barrier’s 3,517 individual pieces weigh 1,500 pounds.

The project also includes two barrier transfer “zipper trucks” that move the barrier into its various lane configurations.

Currently the lane configurations are made using 19-inch plastic pylons that are spaced 25 feet apart.

Installation is expected to take place during a 52-hour full closure of the bridge on a weekend in late October or early November 2014.

The barrier system cost $26.5 million. It is financed with $20 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, $1.3 million in federal funds and $5.1 million in Golden Gate Bridge tolls.

James Lanaras, Bay City News

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