Golden Gate Bridge Will Be Closed To Cars This Weekend For The First Time Since 1987

If you were planning a lovely weekend in San Francisco, complete with a scenic drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, you might want to make sure you pack your walking shoes: The Golden Gate Bridge will be closed to private vehicles for 52 hours straight starting at midnight tonight through early Monday, so workers can install a median barrier designed to prevent head-on collisions.

It’s the first time the bridge has been closed to cars since 1987, when it shut down for a few hours to mark the structure’s 50th anniversary, reports Associated Press. It’s the first time in 77 years that the bridge will be closed this long to most traffic.

Transit buses, emergency vehicles, pedestrians and bikes will still be allowed on the bridge during the work, says the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, for those still seeking that all-important photo opportunity.

“The board of directors had been looking for a long time to find a way to prevent head-on collisions and enhance safety, but we didn’t have the money, and the technology didn’t exist,” said Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Priya David Clemens.

The only thing keeping vehicles going in opposite directions apart right now are small plastic tubes in holes on the asphalt. It’s not doing much, either — there have been 128 head-on collisions on the bridge since 1970, including 16 deaths.

The $30 million barrier is part of an ongoing effort recently by officials to make the Golden Gate Bridge Safer. Another plan in the works includes a $76 million suicide barrier made up for nets stretching below the span to catch people trying to jump to their deaths from the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge closing to install new collision barrier [Associated Press]

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