SAN FRANCISCO, June 29 (UPI) -- San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, where 1,600 people have jumped to their deaths since 1937, will soon have mesh barriers intended to prevent people from committing suicide.
The board of directors for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District voted unanimously Friday to approve $20 million of a $76-million to add netting to the sides of the bridge. The rest of the funds will come from the state and federal government.
The iconic bridge, which already has 4-foot-high railings, will get an additional 20 feet of netting on each side.
Though opponents of the plan have argued that the nets would be an eyesore that wouldn't actually prevent people from committing suicide, others have said that they act as an important deterrent.
"The time of healing can only begin when the steady drip-drip-drip of bodies into the raging waters has stopped," Dana Barks, whose son, Donovan, died jumping off the bridge in 2008, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"The Golden Gate Bridge is a source of immense pride to San Francisco, but for too many families in our community, it has also been a place of pain," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said in a statement. "A suicide-prevention barrier offers a critical second chance for troubled men and women acting on often impulsive suicidal thoughts."