By Rick Ritter

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Sixty-million dollars. Workers are in the midst of a multi-year project to fix hundreds of cracks in the United States Capitol dome.

Rick Ritter gives us a closer look at the progress being made.

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It’s been more than 50 years since the Capitol dome had restorations. Officials announced the completion of 52 miles of scaffolding, marking a milestone in the project.

Five months of work, condensed into ten seconds of video. One-point-one million pounds of scaffolding now rests around the U.S. Capitol dome that’s in desperate need of repairs.

“The scaffolding you see behind you is complete.”

WJZ got an up-close look at the metal piping, allowing workers to access the dome freely in order to start the project.

“This is a significant milestone for us in our dome restoration project.”

Architects are efforting to fix the dome’s crumbling exterior and hundreds of cracks throughout it. Plus, more than 100 cast iron ornaments fell off and must be repaired.

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Architects say most of the damage is where metal pipes joined together and water managed to seep in, causing rust over the years.

Architects say next in line–12,000 inches of cracked cast iron will be fixed, followed by more than 1,000 gallons of paint.

“This is the first time layers of lead-based paint will be completely removed and re-mediated.”

For tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, it’s not what they had in mind.

“There’s a lot of metal on it that I wasn’t expecting,” said Jiggy Athilingam.

But what might not look like much now is a makeover expected to hold up for more than 75 years when finished.

Architects expect to finish up the project in time for the next presidential inauguration in January of 2017.

The last restoration of the dome was completed in 1960.

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Rick Ritter