Moveable traffic barrier installed on Golden Gate Bridge
Most Bay Area residents have driven across the Golden Gate Bridge at least once in their lives, and for some the experience was terrifying, especially if they found themselves in the middle “suicide lanes.”
Until recently, the middle lanes on the 1.7-mile long bridge were only separated by small, plastic pylons, which made head-on collisions a real threat.
In fact, there have been 128 head-on collisions on the bridge since 1970, the Claims Journal reported. These accidents have resulted in 16 deaths over the years. The last head-on collision occurred 14 years ago, but bridge officials never gave up their fight for a movable barrier to help improve safety.
Over the weekend, bridge officials finally got what they had been asking for when a new traffic barrier was installed on the bridge that is designed to help prevent head-on collisions. The barrier is made of steel-clad concrete blocks that can be moved across the bridge’s six lanes depending on the demands of traffic.
A survivor of a 2008 head-on collision that took place on the bridge helped induct the new barrier on Sunday. The woman was left paralyzed as a result of the accident, which occurred when a driver in the oncoming lane passed out at the wheel.
Since the accident, the woman and the driver who hit her had been advocating for a moveable barrier. The two attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony together and said they were “grateful” for the new addition.
Initial reports said that traffic flowed smoothly on Monday morning despite the new barrier. A bridge official said that, so far, no problems have been reported.
Hopefully, driving across the Golden Gate Bridge is now a safer, and less scary, experience for residents and tourists alike.