CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state has cancelled its contract with the company chosen to do crucial repair work on the state capitol dome because the company couldn’t guarantee there would be no further damage to the dome’s exterior during the project.
The Department of Administration released a statement Friday afternoon that said it had ended its contract with Wiseman Construction because “their submittals relating to the assembly of the exterior scaffolding could not meet the specifications in the contract.”
The contract required that the exterior scaffolding not contact with any part of the dome’s cladding to prevent any further damage to the dome.
According to the Friday’s statement, “The contractor was unable to assure that the requirement would be met to the satisfaction of the State and the design engineer; therefore, with the agreement of both parties, the contract has been terminated for convenience.”
The second lowest bidder, Pullman Structural Group, has now been hired by the state and will be able to use what Wiseman Construction has already put into place since beginning the job in late January. That includes an elaborate basement to floor interior scaffolding system. That work has blocked off the capitol’s upper and lower rotundas.
Wiseman was originally scheduled to be paid $10.9 million for the work to fix an issue caused by water leaks in the outer dome.
The issue became apparent several months ago. Pipes designed to catch water from the outer dome have deteriorated and caused damage to the interior Rotunda. Some of the damage is visible and some is not. It’s a safety issue, state officials have said.
A cabling system that enables the outer dome to hold up the inner dome through tension has weakened over the years and needs to be replaced, state officials have said. The tensioning system was last replaced about 20 years ago
The project, which is officially called the West Virginia State Capitol Dome Moisture Intrusion Repair Project, was originally scheduled to take about two years to complete.