A look inside the Capitol Complex project

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Towering over downtown and filling in the city’s skyline, cranes have become a staple and unofficial sign of development in Austin.

Since mid-September, two cranes stand tall near the Bullock Texas State History Museum in what will one day be the Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan‘s 1801 building — one of two buildings being built to house downtown state workers and move them out of leased space.

Crews use crews to move heavy equipment and help with concrete pours inside the 1801 building’s foundation. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)

“It was just tons of planning, months, and actually years of planning and now we’re actually seeing this dream come to fruition,” Prince Chavis, the project’s manager said. “Previously all you were seeing was digging up, digging up and digging up but now you’re actually seeing it come up the ground and it’s an amazing feat.”

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Part of the Capitol Complex project’s Phase One will also include five levels of underground parking, as well as a new Texas Mall set to be located on Congress Avenue between 16th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The mall will be surrounded by a pedestrian-friendly lawn serving as the northern gateway to the Capitol.

“It’s a multitude of contractors, subcontractors working all in sync to keep concurrent with all the packages,” Chavis said. “We have the excavation, we have the utility relocation, two office buildings, a central utility plant, as well as a pedestrian mall. It’s a multitude of projects, packages, but we’re all working in sync to minimize disruption of ongoing activities and operations of the business district around here.”

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After months of excavation, Chavis said they are now working on building the 1801 building’s underground parking garage. He added beginning next year, crews will start to pour concrete for the 1601 building, “so everything is just moving on in sync.”

Once crews wrap up with the buildings, Chavis said they will then get to work on the pedestrian mall.

Phase One is expected to be completed in about three years.

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