Work will begin this summer on a compromise project agreed to by the legislature and the Gray Davis administration. Instead of a steel and concrete wall, similar to the one that surrounded the Capitol in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, concrete posts, called bollards, will surround the building, covered by a concealing hedge. Ann Cavanaugh is project director for the state Department of General Services.
"There will be large raised planter beds put in that will provide both a piece of landscaping and also a barrier for a large vehicle."
The final decision on the barrier was made after 9-11. Earlier in 2001, a big rig truck rammed the Capitol causing millions of dollars in damage. Howard S. Wright Construction, the company that built the Seattle Space Needle in the early Sixties, will begin work on the six point eight million dollar project by July first. Several years ago, when the Capitol was repainted, unions complained that non-union painters were being used. Wright Construction’s regional manager Rich Gangitano (jon gih TAH no) says there’ll be no union pickets on this project.
"Under this contract, every subcontractor was required to be a union contractor to avoid that type of stuff."
Construction on the barrier will be done in stages over a fourteen month period starting on the Capitol’s west side. Gangitano says there should be very little disruption of traffic or parking around the building