Repairs, scaffolding ahead for US Capitol's dome

Associated Press
This photo taken July 23, 2013 show the Capitol in Washington. The iconic Capitol Dome is temporarily getting a new look. The 150-year-old, cast-iron dome will soon be sheathed in scaffolding for about two years, a requirement of its first major restoration since 1960. The Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, announced the restoration work on Tuesday, saying it’s needed to address more than 1,000 cracks and other problems in the structure. The restoration is expected to cost about $59.5 million. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The dome of the U.S. Capitol is getting a new look.

The 150-year-old, cast-iron dome will soon be sheathed in scaffolding, a requirement of its first major restoration since 1960.

The architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, announced the restoration work on Tuesday, saying it's needed to address more than 1,000 cracks and other problems in the structure. The restoration is expected to cost about $59.5 million and take about two years.

Ayers says the "critical work" must be done now to save the dome. He says that even though the Capitol looks great from a distance, age and weather have taken a toll.

The repairs aren't expected to affect legislative business or tours.

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