Project Overview 

The Golden Gate Bridge’s sidewalks are open to the public and the existing outside railing along the sidewalks is four feet tall. The Golden Gate Bridge Physical Suicide Deterrent Project is being conducted by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District). The Project will develop and evaluate alternatives for a potential physical suicide deterrent system for the Bridge. The Project is divided into two phases, described below.

 Phase 1: Wind Tunnel Testing of Generic Suicide Deterrent Concepts Fall 2006 to Spring 2007

Long span suspension bridges respond dynamically, and potentially dramatically, to wind. Phase 1 focused on performing wind tunnel testing of generic concepts for a potential suicide deterrent for the Golden Gate Bridge (Bridge). The wind tunnel testing determined which generic concepts do not create wind stability problems for the Bridge. Wind tunnel testing focused on three types of generic concepts: 1) adding to the existing railing; 2) replacing the existing railing; and 3) utilizing nets that cantilever out horizontally. Concepts with various heights, component dimensions and wind appendages were tested to determine which combinations of variables are acceptable for the Bridge, from a wind stability standpoint.

A Phase 1 Wind Study Report documents the wind testing and summarizes the results. Additionally, it includes descriptions and sketches of each concept that passed the wind test. The report was presented at the Building and Operating Committee of the Board of Directors at their regularly scheduled meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2007. 

Phase 2 : Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Studies
Summer 2007 to Late 2008

Phase 2 will take the Phase 1 generic concepts that passed the wind test and develop potential alternatives for further evaluation. Phase 2 will include both the required federal and state environmental review processes of each potential alternative and will include preliminary engineering of the potential alternatives. The proposed alternatives have been evaluated against each of the Project Criteria, and for anticipated environmental affects. The proposed alternatives include five "build alternatives" and one "No-Build alternative."

The Bridge, which is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, is afforded protection under both state and federal historic preservation laws. In accordance with these laws, the District, in addition to developing and releasing for public comment a draft environmental document, must consult with appropriate state and federal agencies. Following the required review and comment processes, a final environmental document will be prepared, and made available to the public. The final document is currently targeted to be released in late 2008. Following a 30-day public comment period on the final document, the environmental process will conclude and the District Board of Directors will decide the next step. A draft environmental document containing this information has been released and public comments can be submitted through August 25, 2008.
Click to view the draft environmental document.
Click to view the DEIR/EA citizens guide, which serves as a summary of the environmental document.
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View a graphic of the enviromental process.