JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A $28.6 million construction project at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City is underway.

The project began Friday morning. Fences and “road closed” signs have gone up around parts of the Capitol.

Missouri State Capitol Commission Chair Dana Rademan Miller, who’s the assistant chief House clerk, says the designated school bus drop-off area has moved to the Capitol’s west end.

“A lot of the school groups will pull over to the west side (of the Capitol), drop the kids off and if they’re able, they’ll climb stairs and come in on the first floor right into the museum area,” Rademan Miller says.

Rademan Miller says the project will address deteriorating stonework on the Capitol’s facades, dome and drum, which dates to 1917.

“You know you drive by this building a lot, you see it but you don’t realize what needs to be done to it until you get up to it and really start looking,” says Rademan Miller. “And so this is something that we have championed and we’re excited to see it happen.”

She says the project will bring the Capitol building’s structure back to serviceable condition, after more than 100 years of wear and tear.

She also says the sidewalk on the north side approach to the Capitol will be replaced.

The Missouri Office of Administration (OA) says 400,000 to 500,000 people visit the Missouri Capitol annually. Some of those are repeat visitors.

OA awarded the $28 million contract to Chicago-based Bulley and Andrews Masonry Restoration. They will have about 25 Missouri subcontractors, primarily from central Missouri.