The work will commence with smaller teams and will continue through the summer months.
The efforts to restore France’s historic Notre Dame Cathedral are set to resume after months of halted work caused by the coronavirus world pandemic. The work will help put repair the damage done by the monumentally destructive fire that raged through its storied roofs on April 15, 2019.
While the tragic fire blazed over a year ago, workers still have to clean up tons of debris before they can actually start the process of rebuilding. A report from the Associated Press explains that the work will restart this week with two teams of five workers. These smaller, more Covid-19 conscious teams will be responsible for cutting up the metal scaffolding — warped and fused by heat — that is not actually part of the structure, but was set up prior to the fire in order to conduct renovations. Once the scaffolding is removed, the team will be able to determine the extent of the damage to the structural stability of Notre Dame.
To accomplish this, workers will suspend themselves from ropes and swing from bar to bar in order to saw the scaffolding apart. The pieces will then be safely lowered to the ground by the use of cranes. There is estimated to be over 200 tons of metal scaffolding to be removed, a process that is expected to take the majority of the summer to complete.
Reuters notes that to protect the workers from any accidents that could occur while swinging upwards of 80 feet in the air, safety nets were installed below the scaffolding. Reuters spoke with, Christophe-Charles Rousselot of the Notre-Dame Foundation, who said:
“It’s the last check-up before open-heart surgery. The rope workers will swing from tube to tube to cut up the scaffolding.” He added, “It is an extremely complicated, very delicate operation that has been prepared for months.”
It is hoped that resuming the work will lead towards a speedy recovery for the historic French Catholic church, but it is still expected to take several years.