Costs dou­ble around Big Ben re­pair project

The Republican Herald - - WORLD -

LON­DON — Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties said the cost of re­pair­ing the tower that houses Lon­don’s fa­mous Big Ben has dou­bled.

Par­lia­men­tary au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day the cost of re­pair­ing the El­iz­a­beth Tower is now es­ti­mated to be 61 mil­lion pounds. It was pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated at 29 mil­lion pounds.

Au­thor­i­ties said the com­plex­ity of the project and the scaf­fold­ing needed to en­able work­ers to reach heights safely has re­sulted in in­creased costs. The last ex­ten­sive con­ser­va­tion works took place more than 30 years ago.

The works have been con­tro­ver­sial be­cause Bri­tain’s most fa­mous time­keeper, Lon­don’s Big Ben bell, will fall silent on all but a few spe­cial oc­ca­sions dur­ing the re­pairs.

The clock tower — also com­monly called Big Ben, but for­mally named the El­iz­a­beth Tower af­ter Queen El­iz­a­beth II — is one of Lon­don’s most-vis­ited build­ings.

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