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White House becomes a construction zone

A fence is positioned Saturday across the driveway leading to the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., in preparation for a scheduled multiyear project to update the executive mansion's utility systems. AP Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari

A fence is positioned Saturday across the driveway leading to the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., in preparation for a scheduled multiyear project to update the executive mansion

Washington (AP) — People walking by the front lawn of the White House can expect to see a mixture of construction crews, rigs and chain-link fencing for the next two years.

The executive mansion has launched the first major upgrade to its utility systems in more than 40 years.

The project will replace the heating, cooling, electrical and fire-alarm equipment and systems serving the East and West wings of the White House.

On the North Lawn, crews will be digging up and replacing utilities in front of the West Wing and working their way over the lawn to the East Wing.

The utility system in the White House is prone to leaks and service interruptions, according to the General Services Administration.

The entire project is scheduled to run at least four years.

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