Years of leaking water and melting snow mixed with road salts have caused significant corrosion to the Rayburn House Office Building garage's structural concrete. For the past 15 years, interim measures have been put in place to extend its life. Unfortunately, some areas have deteriorated to the point where interim measures are no longer an option, and parking cannot be supported.
The Rayburn Garage Interior Rehabilitation will replace structural concrete and waterproofing joints to extend the life of the garage for 50 years. The rehabilitation will also bring the garage levels up to code compliance for mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems.
Please see the FAQs for more.
Resources for House Staff
The page below is restricted to the Capitol Network only.
Rayburn Lobby Reopens
Lobby 8 in the Rayburn House Office Building reopened in September following work in August as part of the Rayburn Garage Interior Rehabilitation project. Over the next several months, work will continue in the lobby at night to add new flooring and ceiling. As part of the rehabilitation, structural concrete and waterproofing joints will be replaced to extend the life of the garage for 50 years and the garage levels will be brought up to code compliance for mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems.
Behind the Scenes
1) A construction worker in the Rayburn Garage uses high pressure water to clean off the beam and rebar to prep them for the new concrete slab and beam encasement.
2) Construction workers install shoring to support new decks before the concrete has finished curing.
1) New exterior waterproofing and concrete patches are completed on the Rayburn Horseshoe courtyard.
2) New waterproofing at joints along the sidewalk and planter areas to address the water infiltration into the garage.
Why is the work necessary now?
Surveys taken every few months find more and more issues where concrete has deteriorated and it becomes a safety hazard. Chunks of concrete as large as a 3-ring binder and as heavy as 40 pounds have fallen. Dozens of parking spaces have already been closed to provide "catchment" systems to prevent the hazards associated with falling concrete. Major structural failures are becoming imminent and closures are necessary to maintain safety.
How long will the project last?
The Rayburn Garage Interior Rehabilitation is a multi-phase project that will address one quarter of the garage during each phase. Phase 1 is underway.
- Phase 1: Southeast quadrant January 2017-April 2018
Future phases, dependent on the availability of funds, are projected below.
- Phase 2: Northeast quadrant April 2018-June 2019
- Phase 3: Northwest quadrant June 2019-August 2020
- Phase 4: Southwest quadrant August 2020-October 2021
Will access from the Longworth Building to the Rayburn Building be impeded?
The southeast quadrant of the Rayburn garage will be closed to all members, staff and visitors from January 30, 2017 to April 2018, which prevents its use as a path between Lobbies 8 and 4.
After coming down the escalators from the Longworth to the Rayburn, you will not be able to cut through the garage from Lobby 8 to use the additional elevators in Lobby 4. Use the Lobby 8 elevators or take the stairs to an upper floor to travel west along the Rayburn corridors.
Stairwells and elevators in these Lobbies will remain open for vertical access the majority of the time. When construction work impacts the elevators, closures will be announced in advance and above on this page.
How will my parking change?
Parking has been reduced and re-allocated for all staff by House Parking Security. If you have questions regarding parking, please contact House Parking Security at 202.225.6750.
What is construction like?
The demolition process used to break up and remove concrete uses high temperature, high pressure water. The construction area will be loud, hot and humid. A large wall built across the garage will separate the area to ensure vehicles and pedestrians can safely be on the other side.
Why are the walls in the garage only half-height? What are the concrete walls up at the entrance?
The plywood walls are temporary and intended to keep people away from night construction activities and allow the full height concrete walls to go up. These concrete walls are intended to be a fire-rated separation between the construction area and the parking garage as utilities that run through the construction area will be replaced. Also, the walls will provide a moisture and sound barrier when activities are occurring at night.
What time of day will construction activities occur?
The contractor is primarily working two shifts each day in order to meet the tight timeframes for each phase of the project: 1) The day shift is from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and 2) the night shift is from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. While some noise will occur during the day, the heaviest noise producing activities will occur at night.
How loud will noise producing activities be at night?
Noise and vibration from even the lowest levels of the garage can carry to the upper levels of the building.
Will work continue if Congress is in session at night?
Noise-producing activities affecting staff will be reduced during time periods when Congress is in session, even if the session goes into the late night.
Is the work occurring outside of the Rayburn Building on South Capitol Street part of this project?
Yes, the Rayburn Horseshoe drive is directly above the garage on the east side of the Rayburn Building. Repairs are required to the waterproofing joints to prevent water intrusion and further deterioration to the highest levels of the garage.
What are the benefits of the project?
The project will eliminate current safety hazards associated with failing concrete and provide for improved wayfinding and signage, code compliant mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, more efficient parking utilization, additional elevators for the movement of freight, and increased security measures. American Disability Act accessibility upgrades are also being made.
Who can I contact for more details?
For additional questions related to this project, please contact Mark Galvan, General Engineer for the House Office Buildings, at 202.225.7754.