Repairs, scaffolding ahead for US Capitol's dome

3:45 PM, Oct 22, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Capitol Dome Restoration

Photo Gallery: From 500 Feet, A New View Of Washington Monument
The U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington, D.C.(Photo: Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)

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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