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'Critical Work' Needed to Save U.S. Capitol Dome

What to expect in the coming months.

The Capitol Dome remains free of scaffolding, but not for long. (Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol)
The Capitol Dome remains free of scaffolding, but not for long. (Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol)
A $59.5 million project to repair more than 1,000 cracks in the Capitol Dome will require the landmark to be covered by scaffolding for about two years. 

The project began in November after two construction companies were awarded the work. For the next few months, the project will still be in its planning stages, and the dome will remain uncovered. But building for the scaffolding will likely start in the spring. 

If you're wondering what's going to happen next, take a look at the above video rendering of the scaffolding going up. 

According to the Architect of the Capitol, once the scaffolding design is finalized, the art and statues inside the dome will be covered, tours to the top of the dome will stop, and a donut-shaped white canopy will cover The Apotheosis of Washington, a mural portraying the first president rising to heaven, an October AOC release said.  

Then construction will begin, starting with scaffolding installation from the bottom of the dome up to the base of the Statue of Freedom, which will remain uncovered at the top. 

The dome has not been repaired since 1960 and “under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll,” said Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers in the October release. 

“As stewards of the Capitol for the Congress and the American people, we must conduct this critical work to save the dome,” he said.  

Most of the construction will happen during nights and weekends, the release said.

JustThom December 20, 2013 at 03:28 PM
I understand that Congress, in order to foot the bill for the almost $60M project will ask that every member of the military take a 15% pay cut immediately. If that won't cover the cost, they are prepared to lower the social security checks of every senior by whatever the CPI is for the year. If the CPI were 3%, then they'll lower the checks by 3%. But they'll do it on a monthly basis so that they can get on with the work.

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