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Architect lays out plans for Capitol restoration

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 01:14

Dec. 19 - Water leaks have caused cracks and rust in the U.S. Capitol building, prompting a major restoration project. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Washington has finally cracked. Not the people. But the infamous dome. The landmark Capitol building is crumbling, forcing architects to embark on a two-year, $60-million restoration project. Here's architect of the capitol, Stephen Ayers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STEPHEN AYERS, THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, SAYING: "It's important to know that these cracks and missing pieces, many of those you see before you today, are water leaks into the dome, and water of course and cast iron don't work well together and that process of water incursion and cast iron just continues to rust and rust and rust and make conditions worse. So with nearly 1,300 cracks, and we see the pace of cracking and deterioration accelerating, we thought it was important now, after 50 years, to intervene and do some preservation work on the dome." In this animation, scaffolding goes almost all the way to the top of the 289-foot structure. Officials say contractors will do the majority of the work at night and on weekends in order to minimally affect work at the Capitol. The restoration will begin in the spring.

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Architect lays out plans for Capitol restoration

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 01:14