After more than a decade since officials approved the project, suicide-prevention barriers have now been successfully installed on both sides of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
The suicide barrier, referred to as "the net," now spans the entire 1.7-miles of the bridge on both its east and west sides, securing approximately 95% of the bridge, while in the remaining sections, vertical fencing has been installed due to construction and design factors, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District said in a press release Wednesday.
"The purpose of the net is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with individuals jumping off the Bridge. The net is a proven design that deters people from jumping, serves as a symbol of care and hope to despondent individuals, and, if necessary, offers people a second chance," the press release read.
On average, the district records over 30 deaths annually from people jumping off the bridge. However, in 2023, while the net was still under construction, 14 people jumped to their deaths. This significantly reduced the average number of suicides by more than half, showcasing the net's impact in preventing deaths, despite some people seeking out the remaining gaps where the net had not yet been installed.
Since it opened in 1937, around 2,000 people have jumped to their deaths from the bridge. However, as not all jumps are witnessed and not all bodies are found, the actual number could be higher.
City officials approved the project more than a decade ago, and in 2018, work began on installing the net, which consists of marine-grade stainless steel netting positioned 20 feet below the sidewalks and extending 20 feet over the water.