UK & World News
Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Net Plan Gets Boost
Officials say they have funds to build a suicide-prevention net at San Francisco Bay's Golden Gate Bridge where two jump to their deaths each month.
The bridge's board of directors will vote on Friday on the plan, which has been debated since the 1950s.
One of the obstacles - the price tag - fell away on Monday as officials announced they had $76m (£45m) for the project.
Most of the new money comes from federal transport programmes, while the rest will be paid out of the bridge's own reserves and state mental health funding.
The bridge district's plan calls for a net made of stainless steel cable extending 20ft below and 20ft from the side of the span.
Anyone who jumps from the span might be injured but would probably survive the fall, say officials.
"For whatever reason, suicidal people don't want to hurt themselves," Dennis Mulligan, the bridge district's general manager, told KTVU-TV.
"At other locations where nets have been up no individual has jumped into the net."
More than 1,400 people have leapt to their deaths from the 4,200-ft suspension bridge since it opened in 1937.
Every year, scores of people contemplating suicide are coaxed not to jump from the span.
On average, there are two suicides a month at the structure.
The Bridge Rail Foundation, which tracks fatalities on the span, said 46 people committed suicide there last year.
Backers of the suicide net were boosted in 2012 when President Barack Obama signed a transportation bill allowing federal funds to flow to the project.