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East end Capitol repairs getting finished

East end Capitol repairs getting finished

March 20th, 2019 by Bob Watson in Local News

Renovation work of the east horseshoe of the Capitol (northeast, southeast and east sides) is expected to be completed this week. In addition to cleaning the limestone exterior, masons performed necessary stone repairs and replacement. Facilities Management anticipates, starting next week, the scaffolding on the east side will be taken down and moved to the west and southwest sides.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

The plastic wrap is coming down from the scaffolding on the east end of the Missouri Capitol — and it's not because of the wind.

"The entire east horseshoe (east, northeast and southeast sides) will be completed this week," Office of Administration spokeswoman Brittany Ruess told the News Tribune on Tuesday.

That means all of the stone repairs and replacement, and the cleaning of the stone walls, has been finished on the east end of the century-old building.

However, Ruess said, "That does not include the pavers in these areas."

Completion of that part of the 33-month project comes just over a year after the $28.69 million project began March 1, 2018.

The total project is intended to restore much of the Capitol's exterior stone work, from the top of the dome to the ground 238 feet below, and around all sides of the building.

Chicago-based Bulley & Andrews Masonry Restoration LLC is the main contractor on the Capitol renovation work, with a main goal of eliminating what Cathy Brown, former director of Missouri's Division of Facilities Management, Design and Construction, last year called "the massive amount of water infiltration that's been occurring in the building over the years.

"The contractor is grinding out every single joint in that building and replacing it (or) repointing it," Brown said at the time. "They're checking every stone — there's a four-part process for every single stone that gets carefully reviewed by the structural engineers, the architects and the contractor."

The project is to be finished by December 2020 so the January 2021 Inaugural Ceremonies can be held on the South Lawn, as has been the state's tradition.

The plastic covering over the scaffolding has been designed so the work can continue in all kinds of weather conditions, with heating in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer available to help the work crews be more efficient.

But the plastic has been ripped up several times in recent weeks due to high winds.

Ruess told the News Tribune that's been by design — so the high winds didn't damage the scaffolding.

However, with completion of the work on the Capitol's east side, Ruess said: "We anticipate that, starting next week, the scaffolding for these areas will start to come down — and later will be erected on the west side of the building" for the work that still must be done there.