Lincoln officials prepare to fix Capitol’s gold dome
The state capitol building’s gold dome will soon receive emergency repairs, according to officials on Wednesday.
$181,000… that’s how much it will cost to repair and protect the dome for the winter season.
An inspection in July showed the caulking that was applied to the dome’s expansion joints in 2001 has deteriorated. Officials say it’s allowing water to come in at an alarming rate and to a possible disastrous effect.
“We have some condition issues up there that if we don’t take care of them right away, we need to do some things that stabilize it because the winter is coming,” said Bob Ripley, administrator for the Capitol Commission. “We need to get kind of a temporary fix in place to get us through the winter.”
Officials are concerned about the moisture and the winter’s freeze thaw cycle. Funding for the project was passed and work on it will begin mid-October.
Workers will rappel down the dome and temporarily seal the expansion joints to keep the tiles in place.
For now, the capitol as a whole is safe and sound for visitors to come as they please.
“It’s not really a safety issue for the public at all,” said Matt Hanson, architect for the Capitol Commission. “We’re not going to be limiting access to the tower or anything like that, but we definitely want to get the issue addressed, so that we’re not losing tile off the dome.”
One major concern is the problem could cause the golden glazed tiles to fall off. They are made of materials not available anymore so officials want to preserve it.
“Once we get this temporary condition fixed this fall, it will be visible from the ground,” said Ripley. “If people want to see it or look to the dome from the ground, they’ll see evidence of what we’ve done to try to keep the dome in good condition.”
He adds this is a temporary fix and they’ll do more permanent work starting next spring.