Washington Monument to Go Dark After Sunday

Removal of the scaffolding will begin Nov. 11

The skyline in D.C. will soon be a little dimmer as the National Park Service prepares to turn off more than 400 lights illuminating the scaffolding on the Washington Monument.

The scaffolding will be lit for the last time Sunday.

On Nov. 11, crews will begin taking down the scaffolding that's surrounded the 555-foot marble obelisk for much of the year. It will take about three months to take the scaffolding down.

"I know the decorative scrim and lighting are popular and will be missed, but we are excited that this brings us one step closer to reopening," said Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

Many stones near the top of the monument were chipped or cracked, and mortar was shaken loose during the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Aug. 23, 2011.

The Park Service say repairs to the exterior of the monument are about 80 percent complete. Work will continue on the lower, exterior portion once the scaffolding is removed. Work to the interior, which about 30 percent complete, will also continue.

"There’s still considerable work to be done, but we’re really grateful to our contractors for keeping this project on schedule," Vogel said.

The monument is expected to reopen to the public in spring 2014.


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