JUNEAU — The first phase of work to reinforce and renovate the state Capitol building is nearing completion.
Project superintendent Ben Musielak said the main entrance should be open again by month’s end. A side entrance has been used the last several months, as the seismic retrofit and renovation — including structural work to reinforce the portico — has progressed.
One of the last things to do during this phase is replace the original granite stairs, which have been kept in storage during construction, KTOO reported.
When crews first took the stairs away, they found the decades-old brick underneath “wasn’t doing very well. All of that came out and it’s replaced with new concrete,” Musielak said.
Juneau-based Alaska Commercial Contractors also removed fill from under the Capitol and replaced most of the plumbing and drainage system. The columns at the entrance were reinforced.
“This whole time, for the last 80 some years, they’ve just been stacked up there with nothing really holding them together,” Musielak said.
The portico, which was sandstone and had been breaking off, is now concrete. The “Alaska State Capitol’ sign has been taken down, and Musielak said it may be another few years until that goes back up.
The budget for the first phase was $1.7 million.