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Golden Gate Bridge may get safety median

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POSTED September 19, 2013 9:10 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After more than a decade of planning, the Golden Gate Bridge may soon have a median separating northbound and southbound traffic.

Bridge officials are expected to approve the purchase of the $26.5 million barrier at meetings today.

The bridge's Building and Operating Committee will vote on it on Thursday, and the full board will decide whether to accept their recommendation on Friday, bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

Opposing traffic on the bridge is currently separated by a row of yellow plastic tubes.

The steel and concrete median would prevent head-on collisions. It would be moveable as well.

If the purchase is approved, the barrier would be installed in late October or early November 2014. The bridge would have to be closed for a little more than two days.

The idea for a barrier gained steam after a series of fatal head-on crashes in 1996, the Chronicle reported. In all, 36 people have died in accidents on the bridge since 1970, 16 of them in crashes involving a vehicle on the wrong side of the road.

In 2008, the bridge received $20 million for the barrier from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The remaining money is coming from tolls and the state and federal governments.

 

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