EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University started construction of a steel safety barrier along a half-mile stretch of the Red Cedar River Tuesday.

The additional safety precaution comes after the drowning death of visiting 18-year-old student Brendan Santo last fall.

“MSU crews have begun installing permanent fencing along the Red Cedar River, replacing temporary fencing that has been in place since late January,” said MSU spokesman Dan Olsen. “The installation of the new fencing delivers on the commitment we made earlier this year to improve the safety around parts of the river.”

Temporary fencing is in place while the barrier is being constructed.

Temporary fencing is still in place along a portion of the river where it runs through the East Lansing campus is still in place.

Work on the permanent fencing is expected to be finished by the end of August. The fencing will be about 4 feet high and run 2,300 feet, with an estimated cost of nearly $650,000.

Family and friends of Santo, who was from the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, petitioned for the construction of barriers, lighting and warning signs. The section where the new barrier is located has steep banks down to the river.

WLNS 6 News has a reporter on the story and will have more coverage throughout the day.