The cost of installing a net to deter people from jumping to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge has ballooned to $400 million.
That's nearly five times more than originally estimated for the suicide prevention barrier. The project's initial prediction said it would cost $76 million to install the netting beneath the span that connects San Francisco with Marin County.
In addition to the skyrocketing costs, the safety project is years behind schedule. Contractors were expected to complete by January 2021 a 20-foot-wide stainless steel mesh net along the 1.7-mile-long bridge as well as the replacement of platforms used by maintenance workers, the Associated Press reported.
The construction companies, Shimmick Construction and Danny’s Construction blamed the government for changes and flaws in the design for the delays and overruns, according to the AP. They also said the government was not transparent about the condition of the workers' platforms, which had been built in the 1950s.
Suicide prevention has been a goal for years. Advocates say that the bridge has been the site of at least 1,800 deaths by suicide since 1937 when the Golden Gate Bridge opened, according to the Bridge Rail Foundation.