High-flying engineers reach new heights at the state capitol

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Engineers are strapped in 300 feet in the air surveying every inch of the state Capitol including the 12-year-old dome.

The dome is the highest point the engineers will be dangling from.

It is an important part of the 120 million dollar repairs planned to restore the crumbling Capitol.

"The dome is like any other part of the building, and part of the reason that we have found ourselves in this situation where we require a major cash influx is that we haven't done things that need to be done to keep this building going,” said State Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson.

W.J.E., a Chicago-based engineering firm, will check for any seismic damage from recent earthquakes.

"W.J.E. is one of the few architecture and engineering firms in the world that do this kind of work," Thompson said. "They worked on the Washington Monument. They worked on the National Cathedral. They worked on state capitols all over the country."

Now they are taking samples of limestone in Oklahoma to see what they can find.

"They don't seem to be finding anything that just surprises them wildly, which makes me happy. They seem to think that most of the things they're finding on the building are consistent with a 100-year-old limestone building in Oklahoma," Thompson said.

Surveying should be done by the end of the week. Until then, Okies will get a rare glimpse of the high-flying architects atop the Capitol.

There is controversy surrounding the way Oklahoma politicians decided to fund the repairs.

In fact, that argument has ended up in court and a judge should be ruling on it soon.

Until then, work continues as planned.

You can follow the Capitol improvements day-to-day projects on social media. Find them on Twitter at @capitolrestore and on Facebook.