Lincoln, NE (April 1, 2019) Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and First Lady Susanne Shore have ordered a top to bottom spring cleaning for the State Capitol. The biggest single part of the operation will be to lift the Capitol building to allow State Maintenance Personnel to power wash under it and scrub its foundation. A heavy duty crane was moved into place Sunday afternoon, and crews attached a multi-strand cable to The Sower. The building is scheduled to be lifted 25 feet off the ground and lowered back into place by sundown after the cleaning is complete.
“With all the flooding, all the mud tracked in from snowy streets”, said the Governor, “it’s just a good time to give the building a good, thorough cleaning.”
“It’s the end of the sesquicentennial” added the First Lady, “and we want to do a deep cleaning to prepare this grand building for the next 150 years.”
Approximately 50 workers will deploy power washers and clean the underside of the building while it’s in the air. Once complete, those workers will squeegee the excess water from the building’s base, then use air blowers to make sure it’s completely dry before the building is lowered into place.
“It’s a good chance to do some periodic maintenance” said Capitol Architect Bob Ripley. “We’ll check the caulking and lubricate some of the rubber seals that surround the pipes entering and leaving the building.” Ripley added that additional holes will be drilled to install the piping from the State’s new geo-thermal well field, a block east of the Capitol. Two lanes of K Street have been barricaded to allow equipment to be moved around the building, and to facilitate the work.
Because of the operation, the Legislature has elected to take the day off.