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Movable Barrier

Authorize Execution of Professional Services Agreement for Preliminary Engineering, Golden Gate Bridge, Movable Median Barrier

This item was presented to the Building and Operating Committee on August 6, 1999, and subsequently approved by the Board of Directors on August 13, 1999.

The Board of Directors authorized a Professional Services Agreement with Parsons Brinckerhoff in an amount not to exceed $35,000 for the following preliminary engineering for the movable median barrier:

  • Develop movable barrier end treatment and anchorage, including a cushioning system, at the Toll Plaza.
  • Evaluate transfer vehicle storage requirements at the north end of the Bridge.
  • Evaluate lane markings on the Bridge.
  • Develop emergency response procedure for accident or incident that requires emergency response across a barrier.

The recommendation has been developed based on questions raised and concerns expressed at the July Building & Operating Committee meeting.  At that time, the Committee forwarded the initial proposal from staff to the Full Board without recommendation.  Due to the changed nature of the recommendation, the Full Board referred the item back to the Building & Operating Committee for further consideration.



The Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 98-116 (refer to Attachment A), authorized conceptual approval for the installation of the 1-foot-wide movable median barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge premised on the conclusion that, on balance, the expected benefit that will be achieved by installation of the barrier – virtual elimination of cross-over accidents – outweighs the various detriments, risks, and uncertainties installation would involve.  At the July 1, 1999, meeting of the Building and Operating Committee, the Committee members expressed three areas of concern regarding the scope of Phase I, Preliminary Engineering, specified in the Building and Operating report for the movable median barrier:  1) that an extensive amount of work must be completed to determine the feasibility of the movable median barrier; 2) that it appeared a conflict of interest for Barrier Systems Inc. to perform preliminary engineering; and, 3) that if the District paid for development of the barrier system, it should receive royalties.

In response to the Committee's concerns, it is proposed that the first phase of the preliminary engineering be reduced to only items required to determine feasibility and that the preliminary engineering be performed by a consultant to the District.  Mr. Edward Wood, Vice President of Barrier Systems Inc. (BSI) agrees to assist the District and its Consultant, at no cost, in the movable median barrier feasibility analysis and determination.  I have negotiated a scope of work with Parsons Brinckerhoff to address key issues that will provide a basis for determination of feasibility.  It is proposed that Parsons Brinckerhoff be used to perform this work for the District because of their experience in the preparation of the U.S. Route 101 HOV feasibility Study Dynamic Capacity Alternative Study, which analyzed utilizing a movable median barrier.  In addition, Engineering Department staff will analyze movable median barriers on other bridges comparable to the Golden Gate Bridge in length, lane width, curvature and traffic volume, and that evaluation will be included in the District Engineer’s feasibility determination.

I'm also negotiating with BSI for royalty payments to the District should the 1-foot-wide movable median barrier developed for the Golden Gate Bridge be used on other bridges.  To date, BSI has offered only to reimburse the District for the cost of the crash tests conducted for the barrier, provided it is used on the Golden Gate Bridge.  Upon completion of negotiations, I will report to Committee.



Funds are available for the proposed scope of work in the amount of $35,000 in the Fiscal Year 1999-2000 Bridge Division Capital Budget, Movable Median Barrier.



The Building & Operating Committee, at its July 1, 1999, meeting, forwarded the staff recommendation to the Board without recommendation.  The Committee Chair approved moving the agenda item for movable median barrier to the last Board meeting of the month, July 23, 1999, to allow staff time to respond to Committee members’ concerns.  The Board, at its July 23, 1999, meeting, returned the revised staff recommendation in this report to the B&O Committee.

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