The Auckland City Council plans to build a new safety screen along Grafton Bridge to help prevent suicides - five years after a wire fence was removed from the historic bridge.

A council report into the 1996 removal claimed that the 1.8m-high fence did not stop jumpers, hindered rescuers and detracted from the historic nature of the bridge.

Health workers, church and emergency groups such as St John Ambulance were divided on the decision to remove the fence.

Council transport committee chairwoman Catherine Harland said these groups believed that reinstating a barrier was a prudent and positive action that should be done as soon as possible.

The new safety glass screen will extend nearly the length of the 283m bridge, on both sides, and be curved over the footpath as a shelter from the weather for pedestrians.

The 2.7m-high screen will be supported by steel frames fixed into the existing handrail.

The council is seeking a resource consent for the screen, submissions closing on October 30. Construction is likely to take three months.

When the bridge opened on April 28, 1910, it was the largest ferro-concrete bridge in the world.