SAN FRANCISCO, CA – One thing that’s common when it comes to major spending bills is that there is often a great deal of “pork” – that is, the appropriation of government spending for localized projects in a representative’s district – contained within them.
This continues to be true when it comes to the U.S. House of Representatives’ much-touted infrastructure bill that they passed earlier this month, including one especially eyebrow-raising financial earmark: over $6 million for the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), which is slated to be used to prevent people from committing suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.
In Section 107 of the bill, which is titled “Member Designated Project Authorizations,” designates sums of money for individual members for specific projects in their respective districts that will be made available throughout the 2022 fiscal year. Project number 140 in Section 107 is entitled “Golden Gate Bridge Physical Suicide Deterrent System Project,” which in the version of the bill that passed Congress is slated to receive $6,550,000.
The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District notes that the Suicide Deterrent System Project will take the form of a series of nets throughout the bridge, preventing people from being able to leap to their deaths upon the water 220 feet below.
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“The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is in the process of constructing a Suicide Deterrent Net System (SDNS) to deter suicides at the Bridge by placing a physical barrier between a person and the water below,” the website says. “The SDNS consists of marine grade stainless steel netting attached to structural steel net supports placed 20 feet below the sidewalks and extending out 20 feet over the water.”
Completion of the project was originally slated for January 2021, but that estimate has now slipped to 2023.