Golden Gate Bridge May Soon Get Long-Awaited Median

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 on Thursday and Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

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 Chronicle reported. The bridge would have to be closed for a little more than two days.

“This is a long time coming,” said Mary Currie, bridge district spokeswoman.

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.

Bridge directors approved the concept of a movable barrier in 1998, but a lack of funding stalled the project for years.

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.

Design and construction plans as well as an environmental and wind tunnel studies have been completed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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