Remembering the Golden Gate Bridge’s “Half Way to Hell” Club

The board of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District unanimously voted in favor of the installation of steel-cable nets 20 feet beneath the east and west edges of the bridge that are "intended to deter people from leaping to their deaths or catch them if they do."

The net, suspended from posts, will have a slightly upward slope, and will collapse a bit if someone lands in it, making it difficult for the jumper to climb out. The bridge district will deploy a retrieval device to pluck jumpers from the net.

This decision opened up the discussion about the first time a net was installed beneath the Golden Gate.

When building the Golden Gate Bridge, the lead structural engineer insisted on the installation of a safety net even though its $130,000 cost was deemed exorbitant. Over the four years of its construction, the net saved 19 men, who named themselves the “Halfway to Hell Club.”

Image Credit: Web Urbanist

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