Washington Monument May Stay Closed Into 2014

Work is expected to commence this fall

Monday, Jul 9, 2012  |  Updated 9:05 PM EDT
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Repairs will require the exterior to be covered in scaffolding. The monument has been closed since last year's earthquake.

Shomari Stone

Repairs will require the exterior to be covered in scaffolding. The monument has been closed since last year's earthquake.

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The National Park Service announced today that the Washington Monument could remain closed into 2014.

Repairs will require the exterior of the 555-foot structure to be covered in scaffolding. The monument has been closed since August of last year, when a 5.8 magnitude quake shook the Washington area.

National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said Monday a damage assessment found scaffolding is necessary to provide workers access to the top of the monument.

Engineers determined most of the damage is above 475 feet on the structure.

Work on the $15 million project is expected to begin this fall, after the Park Service decides on a contractor. It should take 12-14 months. Bidding remains open until the end of July.

The monument was the world's tallest man-made structure when it was completed in 1884.

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