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Before Scaffolding Comes Down, Last Task At Washington Monument: Measuring It

555 feet, five and one-eighth inches, give or take.
(AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)
555 feet, five and one-eighth inches, give or take.

The scaffolding that's encased the Washington Monument over the last few months is set to come down, but before it does, there's one task left to be completed: measure the monument's height.

Surveyors with the National Geodetic Survey will be out on the monument today trying to determine if the iconic obelisk is still 555 feet, five and -one-eighth inches tall. Since 1901 the monument —which weighs some 90,000 tons — has sunk some 2.2 inches.

The surveyors will be using 3D and GPS techniques to accurately measure just how tall the monument is. Such measurements — this will be the first since 1999 — can only be conducted when scaffolding allows for surveyors to access the monument's peak.

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