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Rotunda Reopening Delayed, but Dome Restoration on Schedule

The Rotunda remains closed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The Rotunda remains closed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Rotunda remains closed Tuesday despite plans to reopen the space  after a 17-day closure related to the Capitol Dome restoration.  

According to a spokesman for Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, the contractor placing the safety netting within the Rotunda has not completed the installation as scheduled and continues working around the clock.  

“During installation of the structural supports for the safety netting system, field engineers determined modifications were required and they have been completed,” AOC spokesman Justin Kieffer said in statement on the 18th day of closure.  

Keiffer said the overall Dome Restoration — a two-year, $59.55 million project — remains on schedule, and more information is expected Tuesday afternoon.  

Ayers was scheduled to brief media on the reopening and provide a status update on the restoration.  

The Rotunda has been closed since April 12 to allow workers to install a white catenary system in the interior. The doughnut-shaped configuration, placed above the “Frieze of American History,” will protect the public while allowing “The Apotheosis of Washington” to be seen during the restoration process.  

In the meantime, tour guides and congressional staffers will continue using an alternate tour route , as they have for the past two weeks, diverting visitors around the closed Rotunda.  

“The safety of visitors, staff and Members of Congress is always the Architect of the Capitol’s first priority and we will provide an update when the Rotunda will reopen,” Keiffer said. “The AOC regrets any inconvenience this may cause.”

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