After being closed for more than three years, the Washington Monument officially has a reopening date: Sept. 19, the National Park Service (NPS) announced Friday.
The monument has been closed since August 2016 for elevator repairs and the construction of a new visitor screening center. The 555-foot-tall structure's single elevator had broken down several times in the past decade, including one incident when more than 40 people were trapped at the top. After several intermittent closures due to elevator issues, the NPS finally closed down the monument for serious modernization efforts.
Although the structure was originally slated to reopen in spring 2019, the NPS announced in April that the closure would continue until at least August due to possibly contaminated soil in the construction area. Modernization work for the monument's elevator was "substantially complete" at that time, the NPS said. The issue with the soil was below ground and posed no health risks, the NPS said.
How to Get Tickets
Starting Sept. 19, the monument will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to carry visitors to the 500-foot-high observation deck. The trip up will take about 70 seconds, according to the NPS.
Visits are free, but everyone over the age of 2 will need timed tickets.
Same-day tickets will be available starting Sept. 19 on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. You can get them from the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW.
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Starting on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m., you'll also be able to order tickets online at www.recreation.gov for tour dates beginning Oct. 19.
Visitors will need to go through security screenings. Note that weapons, strollers and bulky items are prohibited. Wheelchairs are permitted.