By Katy St. Clair. Bay City News.
Completion of a suicide prevention net on the Golden Gate Bridge could be further delayed after construction companies contracted to take on the project claim their costs have more than doubled, according to documents filed this week in San Francisco Superior Court. Francisco.
The project to erect stainless steel mesh netting on both sides of the bridge was supposed to be finished last year but has been plagued with delays.
Last year, project subcontractor Vigor Works LLC sued joint venture contractors Shimmick Construction Co. and Danny's Construction Co. ?SDJV? over allegations that they were owed at least $13 million. Shimmick and Danny's countersued this year. In a motion in that case filed this week, SDJV also sought the court's permission to sue the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which manages the bridge.
The bridge district is accused of "withholding significant information" during the proposal phase of the project, including "extensive deterioration of the bridge" that interfered with SDJV's ability to perform the work.
"It later became apparent that many of the District's own designs and design criteria and specifications are flawed, and some requirements would be impossible to execute," the court filing reads. "Instead of acknowledging its own mistakes, the District seeks to take SDJV hostage and have it complete the job without adjusting the price."
SDJV claims the project will cost "more than" $398 million, not the $142 million the district wants to pay.
"We are deeply frustrated by the slow pace of construction by the contractor and the multiple delays in the construction of the suicide barrier," said district spokesman Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz. “Shimmick has had three different owners since he began work on the suicide barrier in 2017, which has led to project delays and cost overruns. The District has been transparent with Shimmick about the condition of the bridge throughout the project."
Cosulich-Schwartz added that the district continues to work "diligently" with the contractor to complete the project as quickly as possible.
Bridge officials first gave the project the green light in 2008, as the Golden Gate Bridge remains the only "suicide magnet" in the world without protective barriers installed. More than 2,000 people have jumped to their deaths from its span since the bridge's opening in 1937.
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