Changes to Capitol Square skyline, as more than 300-foot tall crane is put up

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. — The skyline near Virginia’s State Capital is changing, with a new addition of a more than 300-foot tall crane. 

The crane will be used to unload and place materials for the General Assembly Building’s construction. It will be on site until 2021. Work to put up the crane started Friday and is expected to finish Monday. A smaller crane is being used to help put it together. 

This construction area is near a busy intersection in downtown Richmond, near the Capitol, Richmond’s City Hall and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. State officials overseeing the project say safety is a major priority.

“The crane will not have any kind of load over pedestrians, over Capitol Square or over buildings,” the Dept. of General Services spokesperson Dena Potter said. “If we need to carry some kind of load over traffic, the contractor would go out and temporarily stop traffic so they can bring the load over.” 

The General Assembly Building, or GAB, is where lawmakers have their offices and committee meetings the public can attend. The old GAB was torn down last year to make room for the new one, all while protecting the historic 1912 façade. Since then, lawmakers have been working out of the Pocahontas Building down the street. 

Since the beginning of June, crews have been digging out a pedestrian tunnel that will connect a five floor parking deck for lawmakers and state workers to the GAB. It will run under 9th Street near Broad Street. 9th street between E. Grace and Broad Streets is expected to be closed until the end of the month. 

These are just a handful of the projects happening around Capitol Square. Potter says it’s an exciting time. 

“We are starting or have already started about a dozen different construction projects that will all be ongoing and be completed by 2021,” she added. “So, we have a lot of activity, half a billion dollars in construction and a lot of changes.”

Some of the changes include upgrades to security around the Executive Mansion and renovations to Old City Hall, which will house the Virginia Division of Capitol Police. 

To watch a time-lapse video of the GAB construction, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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