Leaky Dome Soaks Luzerne County Courthouse
Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County-- We're learning more about the leaky situation in the dome of the Luzerne County courthouse-- including both the short and long-term fixes being implemented by engineers.
County engineers say the work that's been ongoing in the higher reaches of the courthouse was for this exact purpose-- to put an end to the leaks from that dome high above that have happened during heavy rainstorms for years.
This latest blast of wet weather just reinforced the fact that the work needs to be completed-- and sooner rather than later.
Exterior scaffolding on the dome of the courthouse points to the restoration project that was already underway to stop rain water from leaking through the dome.
Thursday night's storms-- which further disfigured some one-of-a-kind artwork inside-- were a huge reminder of the projects' importance.
County Engineer Joe Gibbons explained, "There has been damage inside the rotunda for several years, if not decades. And we have had studies in the past that have documented all the artwork, and the damage to it, and also what the procedure would be to repair it."
But the artwork repairs cannot begin until the waterproofing is completed-- a job that engineers hope can be fast tracked even more so after Mother Nature's latest blast.
Gibbons noted, "There are immediate concerns, but we're putting implementations in place to minimize the damage, and hopefully we get a dry spell here where we can get things cleaned up."
Gibbons says he is confident that mold will not become a major issue inside the courthouse, even with the water that's been seeping in.
We're told air quality tests are being conducted on a regular basis.
And thanks to insurance through the county and it's contractor-- plus some help from FEMA-- Gibbons says he doesn't believe taxpayers will see any impact from this latest damage.
He added, "The cost to repair that project, and our other ongoing projects in the county, would be mostly unaffected."
Gibbons says workers hope to have the dome of the courthouse fully water-proofed by the end of the year.
And once it's completed, we're told that waterproofing work is guaranteed for the next 25 years.