RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A contractor working on a $25 million tunnel that will connect Virginia’s Capitol to a nearby legislative office building “inadvertently” poked through the ceiling of a subterranean Capitol extension earlier this year, causing debris to fall into the visitors center cafe, a state official said. 

The Capitol was briefly evacuated on March 14 while crews evaluated the damage, said Dena Potter, a spokeswoman for the state agency overseeing the project. The debris fell into the kitchen area and the cafe was closed at the time, with no employees inside. 

Potter said the Department of General Services would not characterize the incident as a roof collapse.

“Crews patched the small holes, and there was no further damage. The Capitol resumed normal operations following the incident; however, the cafe remained offline in anticipation of a planned May 2 closure of the entire underground Visitor Center to accommodate both the tunnel excavation and a project to replace part of the extension’s roofing system,” Potter wrote in response to an Associated Press inquiry. 

That closure, previously announced in April, is expected to remain in place through at least December “to ensure the safety of all visitors and employees at the Capitol,” her …read more



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