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Construction Begins on Inauguration Viewing Bleachers at Wilson Building

wilson.jpg Construction began today on the bleachers in front of the John A. Wilson Building, where Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and D.C. Council members will watch Barack Obama trek down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House after he is sworn-in Jan. 20. There will also be room for the media.

The stands outside 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. cost about $2.7 million to build, which is supposed to be defrayed with the help of $15 million from the federal government. The contract went to Associated Builders Inc., which has built the stands for the city for the past nine inaugurations, according to city documents.

Fenty and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) are hoping to get more funds to assist the city in paying for what federal and local officials believe could be the largest inaugural gathering in history.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said during a press conference yesterday that he expects Uncle Sam to pick up the tab. "I have no reason to think that the government will not follow through and pay for everything. That is is the plan."

By Nikita Stewart and Hamil R. Harris. Photo by Harris.

By David A Nakamura  |  December 1, 2008; 2:18 PM ET
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Wow, $2.7 million seems like an awful lot to pay for a simple structure that will end up in a landfill the day after the event. Even if the federal government is expected to foot the cost, wouldn't the money be better spent on buses and traffic cops to handle the crush of visitors?

Posted by: IHeartDC | December 1, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Didn't I hear that the Mayor is not going to bill the Federal Government for District expenses for the inauguration. Or, that he has placed a self imposed cap on what he is going to bill the Federal Government. As if the District has deeper pockets than the Federal Government.

I think Gray follow up with Fenty. They are not on the same page.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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