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What's New

Temporary Capitol House Closure

East front of the Capitol.
Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday, July 21 - Final Update: AOC's contractor completed work in the East Grand Staircase on the House side of the Capitol this weekend. The Staircase and connecting corridors are now open.


Monday, July 14 - Update: AOC's contractor plans to begin delivering and installing scaffolding in the East Grand Staircase following the last votes in the House tonight. Once the scaffolding is in place, the contractor will install additional plastic sheeting in the ceiling of the East Grand Staircase. This is necessary for the contractor to resume abatement work. The contractor will then fully clean the stairwell. Air sampling continues throughout the process. The East Grand Staircase will remain closed until abatement work is complete.


Saturday, July 12 - Update: Poly reinforced construction dust control barriers will be installed this weekend within the arched openings at the second and third floor landings of the East Grand Staircase and at the arched opening at the first floor stair entrance. Installation of these barriers allows the AOC to reactivate air conditioning in affected areas and to resume abatement work in the attic space above the staircase. The barrier is expected to be in place approximately two weeks. 

Pedestrian flow at the first floor level corridor will not be impacted. However, the staircase will remain closed and pedestrian flow in front of the stairs at the second and third floor levels will be suspended while the barrier is in place. Tours of the Capitol are not impacted and will continue on normal routes.
Air sample results were well below the regulatory limit for general space occupancy. Air sampling will continue throughout the work.

July 10, 12:15 p.m. - Update: During overnight construction, there was a potential release of asbestos affecting the House side of the U.S. Capitol. Engineers and certified industrial hygienists have evaluated the scene and determined it was safe to reopen the building around 9 a.m.

The East Grand Staircase from floors 1 to 3 will remain closed until further notice to restrict access to the construction area where the incident occurred and provide a workspace for the contractor to access that area as needed. The House side of the Capitol has returned to normal operations. Tours of the Capitol Building have remained open.

July 10, 9:20 a.m. - The House Side of the Capitol has reopened to Members and Staff with certain areas remaining closed, specifically the East Grand Staircase from floors 1 to 3 and room H-324. All other areas of the House Side of the Capitol will return to normal operations, including tours of the Capitol Building.

July 10, 8:20 a.m. - During ongoing asbestos abatement work there was a potential release affecting the House side of the Capitol. Samples have been collected to determine whether there was potential exposure. Architect of the Capitol (AOC) and Unites States Capitol Police (USCP) are investigating and will provide updates when available.