A five-year restoration project to ensure that Big Ben is able to withstand the forces of Mother Nature is set to be completed in London as the crew begin testing to guarantee the giant clock will keep up with the times. Huh.
A combination of wear and tear, weather and pollution caused the UK government to undertake the most extensive restoration project in the tower’s 162-year history.
Officially known as the Great Clock of Westminster, in 2017 it was surrounded by scaffolding for employees to not only work on outdoor rehabs but also to participate in the larger mechanism powering the four-faced clock. Was.
A spokesman for the UK Parliament said more than 1,000 components were removed and repaired by watch experts.
The extensive conservation project also included the removal of the famous dials that measure above 14 feet and repairing and rearranging them to withstand the extremes of London’s weather.
One goal of the project is to keep about 25 inches of London’s annual rain out of the building, which, unfortunately, a spokesperson said, has found ways to seep into the tower.
Experts say that replacing more than 400 cast iron roofing tiles as well as other masonry work in the 315-foot structure will help prevent water infiltration in the future.
Apart from Mother Nature, pollution is also said to have taken a bite out of the tower’s glow over the decades.
A spokesman for Parliament eating the tower’s original limestone caused air pollution, necessitating hundreds of pieces of replacement stone.
Pollution is also to blame for destroying the intricate carvings by one of the tower’s original architects.
Over the course of the multi-year project, officials estimate that more than 700 stones were replaced at the London landmark.
Crew recently attached the tower’s final dial to the giant clock mechanism, and all four sides are believed to now function properly.
“The conservation project remains on schedule. In the coming months, bells – including Big Ben – will be attached to the clock mechanism and ring permanently,” said UK Parliament spokesman Lorcan O’Donoghue.
The more than $100 million restoration project won’t be completed until the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, but officials say the project is on track to be finished by the summer.
Tours and other public exhibitions are expected to reopen at the end of the year.