Engineers to rappel from Oklahoma Capitol building to inspect exterior prior to repairs

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Engineers from an internationally-renowned firm that specializes in historic structure restoration plan to start rappelling from Oklahoma's Capitol building to investigate damage to the 97-year-old building's exterior facade.

The investigation by Chicago-based WJE is necessary to determine the full extent of the damage before the state seeks bids to repair and restore the exterior. The rappelling portion of the investigation begins Monday and will last two weeks.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation earlier this year authorizing a $120 million bond issue to repair and restore the crumbling Capitol building. The bonds will be issued sometime in the fall.

Built between 1914 and 1917, barricades have cordoned off the south side of the Capitol for the past three years to prevent pedestrians from approaching areas where chunks of limestone have fallen.

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