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Repairs May Close Monument Until 2014

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Repairs to the Washington Monument will require massive scaffolding to be built around the structure, which was damaged during last summer's earthquake. The project could shut down the monument until 2014.

National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson says 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.

NPS has offered the $15 million project up for bids. Proposals are due by the end of the month. Johnson says the agency hopes to award a contract and begin mobilizing in September. From there it will take 12 to 18 months to complete the repairs.

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

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