As we reported in late August, the recent earthquake and its aftershocks damaged a granite railing on the roof of the Treasury Building. As a result, in coordination with the Secret Service, we closed down the 15th street sidewalk adjoining the Treasury Building to help ensure the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists as we determined what repairs are necessary. Today, I wanted to provide you with an update on that process.
After evaluating the issue, we determined that the best, safest means of addressing the problem involves removing the railing temporarily. Once removed, the granite railing will be repaired by a specialist (likely off-site) and rendered more secure. The railing will then be returned to the building and reinstalled.
We currently expect to complete removing the affected portions of the railing by early December – at which point we will be in a position to temporarily reopen the 15th Street sidewalk. The sidewalk will then remain open until late spring of 2012, when we will need to close off the area once again and begin work on replacing the railing. We hope to complete work on replacing the railing as soon as possible and will provide regular updates on that process on our website as it moves forward.
Again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these repairs may cause. Please know that safety is our top priority, and we are working as quickly and diligently as possible to address the issue.
Dan Tangherlini is Assistant Secretary for Management, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Performance Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.