Construction crews have completed extensive structural work on the mezzanine level and are preparing the lower level lobby and new “avenue,” paving the way for the Duke Energy Children’s Museum to reopen on May 4.
When guests return to the building in May they’ll notice new flooring and a fresh coat of paint throughout the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and restrooms with new tile and fixtures. Additionally, new restrooms are being completed in the lower level lobby as well this month, updating and expanding amenities for guests.
With less than seven months to go in the project, here’s a look at how crews are working to restore Union Terminal this month.
- Now that the concrete basin of the fountain is complete, crews are beginning to apply waterproofing to the fountain. A polyurea coating will cover the fountain’s 8,000 square feet, followed by a gel coat before mortar and terrazzo are applied, consistent with the fountain’s historic finish. The waterproofing will prevent water from penetrating the fountain’s concrete base and foundation.
- The bricks and masonry on Union Terminal’s west wall have been completely removed and crews are beginning to incorporate new steel reinforcements to replace those installed in the 1970s when the wall was built after 400 feet of the original concourse was demolished.
- Crews continue to polish marble and metal throughout the Rotunda. The thin aluminum strips between pieces of marble are being cleaned through a process of dry ice blasting and a wipe down with a mild detergent. Dry ice blasting is less abrasive than traditional sand blasting, preventing the soft aluminum from being damaged as decades of dirt and corrosion are removed. Dry ice changes immediately from a solid to a gas when it warms (a process called sublimation), leaving no chemical residue in the process.
- The north parking lot is being completely repaved and restriped with new light poles added as well. Underground piping is being roughed in for the installation of a new automated parking control system which will be operational when the Duke Energy Children’s Museum reopens in May.
- Crews are continuing the installation of a new elevator located in the Rotunda that will service the mezzanine and lower levels. To complete the 40-foot shaft for the elevator, crews installed new steel frames and cut through existing steel and concrete floors of the concourse and mezzanine levels. An equally deep 40-foot hole will be drilled this month to house the piston that will raise and lower the elevator.
Number to Know: 171 – As part of the systems and infrastructure updates, over 907,000 feet of individual fiber cable strands are being run throughout Union Terminal. That adds up to over 171 miles!
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