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George Washington Bridge Scandal & News: GWB to Get Suicide Barrier

First Posted: Jul 31, 2014 10:31 AM EDT

The George Washington Bridge, which spans from New York to New Jersey, is set to get a suicide-prevention fence that could cost up to $47 million, according to a report from CBS News.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be responsible for constructing the 9-foot fence that will replace the rail that now spans the bridge.

The Port Authority reported that there have been 13 suicides and 40 rescues on the bridge so far in 2014, on pace to be way up from the 16 deaths reported in 2013. Historically, about six people per year have committed suicide by jumping from the bridge.

Bernie Yostpile, the chief structural engineer on the project, said that the barrier would likely cost between $37 million and $47 million to build, and would be finished by 2022. To prevent suicides in the mean time, the Port Authority will increase patrols, lighting and add security cameras The Associated Press reported.

The span of the George Washington Bridge is 212 feet above the waters of the Hudson River, according to the New Jersey Newsroom. The most recently reported suicide from the 81-year-old bridge is noted as July 20, when a man jumped to his death.

News reports claim that the George Washington Bridge is easily the most common spot to commit suicide in New York, claiming many more lives than all other bridges combined.

This announcement comes on the heels of a similar plan in San Francisco, which will see the Golden Gate Bridge get a $76 million makeover to help prevent suicides. The Golden Gate -- which is the world's most common spot to commit suicide -- is set to receive a barricade and nets underneath the bridge.

Since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, more than 1,400 people have jumped to their deaths, according to official records.

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