Crews finally finish City Hall awning repairs

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-20 18:26:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - It cost over $1 million for the City of Richmond to fix and improve the awning covering the Broad Street entrance to City Hall.

Falling ice from accumulated snow on the rooftop canopy shattered the awning covering the entryway in December 2009.

Crews finished work on the entrance Friday, more than two years after it was destroyed.

"It would have been easy to just do the repairs,” says Donald Summers, Senior Capitol Project Manager for the City of Richmond.

Summers has worked closely on the project to restore the entrance.  He says from the very beginning, the city didn't want simply fix the shattered canopy, but prevent the same situation from happening again.

“Obviously, until we got to this point today, we took all the precautions we felt were appropriate, and we believe today this system is the appropriate system,” says Summers.

One of the new features of the entryway is the glass installed above the awning.  It's called horizontal impact glass, and instead of shattering if something falls on it, the glass cracks like a car windshield.

To prevent a similar situation to 2009, a snow melting system was installed on the roof canopy, snow guards were placed on the wings that jut out from the building, and the width of the Broad Street canopy was extended to the side walls.

“Based on the best information we have from our consultants and the system we have in place, we believe the public is protected now,” says Summers.

"I feel safe now, yes,” says Veronica Jones from Richmond.

Visitors to city hall will begin to walk through the improved entry way when it reopens Monday.