Politics

Madison's Capitol Square Undergoing Biggest Renovation In Decades

Visitors to the state Capitol building in Madison this summer won’t be greeted by the sounds of fiery legislative debate. Instead, they’ll hear a chorus jackhammers and cement trucks.

The Capitol Square is undergoing one of its most expansive renovations in modern history, according to the city of Madison’s engineering team.

“The last major project that was done up on the Square was back in the ’70s,” said Jim Wolfe, an engineer for the city of Madison and project manager for this summer’s renovation work. “That was a very large project. There was a lot of work on the pavement and curb, the decorative planters and a lot of the tree-planting.”

The current project will focus on less cosmetic changes.  Wolfe said a team of more than 50 workers is focused on modifications like replacing centuries-old utilities, including 500 feet of sewer main.

“The existing main was as old as 1904,” Wolfe said. “That original water main was as old as 1882.”

The water main will be replaced as well. Workers will also pour around 15,000 tons of concrete to re-cover the new pipes.

The project, focused on the north side of the Capitol, is expected to wrap up by mid-August. South side renovations will begin next spring.