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Carter Williams,, File

Rio Grande Depot to close for 'at least a couple of months'

By Graham Dudley, | Posted - Mar. 22, 2020 at 9:32 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Rio Grande Depot announced Sunday that structural engineers have cleared it to reopen following Wednesday's magnitude 5.7 earthquake that damaged its interior, but not until repairs have been made.

The depot expects that process to take "at least a couple of months," according to a news release from Utah Department of Heritage & Arts spokesman Josh Loftin.

"The historic building in downtown Salt Lake City sustained damage during the earthquake to a portion of the roof," the release says. "Many of the walls around the first floor gallery and second floor mezzanine suffered damage and lost large chunks of plaster. Along with structural damage, there are concerns about asbestos and lead paint on the debris that fell from the walls."

The depot houses about 65 employees from the Department of Heritage & Arts and the divisions of State History, Multicultural Affairs, UServeUtah, and the Arts & Museums visual and public arts program. They will work remotely or use temporary offices until the repairs are complete.

Loftin said the Rio Grande Cafe will be able to reopen "as soon as the COVID-19 dining restrictions are removed."

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