After 2 Years, US Capitol Restoration Project Is Complete - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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After 2 Years, US Capitol Restoration Project Is Complete

Last time the dome was restored was during the Eisenhower administration



    A special unveiling ceremony Tuesday officially marked the end of a two-year construction project on the U.S. Capitol building, just in time for the 2017 inauguration.

    Congressional officials held a press conference and special tour to mark the end of the $60 million project, the largest repair effort of its kind in more than a half a century.

    Before the repairs, the dome had more than 1,300 "cracks and deficiencies" in its corroded cast iron structure, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers said.

    About 52 miles of pipe crisscrossed the 29-story dome with a thick layer of scaffolding for two years during the project, a frustrating eyesore for many tourists and D.C. residents. The scaffolding was removed as work was completed.

    Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    Construction crews repaired structural damages, replaced ornamental fixtures, upgraded mechanical systems and repainted the dome and rotunda with more than 1,200 gallons of paint.

    The last time the dome was restored was during the Eisenhower administration.

    The unveiling of the repaired building comes just as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to be sworn into office. Last year, Trump said the project reflected what was wrong with Washington, calling the repair efforts wasteful and behind schedule. He said the scaffolding would be removed for the 2017 inauguration and put back up.

    Instead, the project was finished on time, just before the inauguration ceremony.

    Ayers praised the work that went into the completion of the project.

    "I am so proud of our team. They worked through the night and in all kinds of weather -- from snow storms to scorching hot summer days.... It is important to take a moment to celebrate and share the fine work done here," said Ayers.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.