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Damage To Washington Monument Being Inspected

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Crews inspect damage to the Washington Monument in September, 2011.
WAMU Photo/Armando Trull
Crews inspect damage to the Washington Monument in September, 2011.

A team of surveyors is conducting additional studies of damage to the Washington Monument and they're looking for very small changes which could have much larger consequences.

The Monument suffered cracks and crumbling last August when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the region.

Now surveyors are trying to figure out whether the Monument sank or tilted as a result of the quake.  They're taking measurements from several long-established benchmarks where survey work has been done in the past.  They're not expecting to find any major changes,  but even fractions of an inch could affect plans for repairing the monument.  It's expected to remain closed to visitors until next year.

The monument has sunk about 2 inches into the ground since it was completed in 1884.

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