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Park Service Hopes To Reopen Washington Monument In May

The Washington Monument has been closed since an earthquake in August 2011.
(AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)
The Washington Monument has been closed since an earthquake in August 2011.

The National Park Service is working to reopen the Washington Monument in May after a lengthy closure to repair damage from an earthquake in 2011.

Brian Hall, a spokesman for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, says the park service is still working on an exact date for the reopening.

For months, workers have been removing scaffolding from the 555-foot monument. The massive repair project is expected to cost $15 million. Washington businessman David Rubenstein pledged to pay half the amount with Congress allocating the rest.

Normally the Washington Monument has about 700,000 visitors a year who ride an elevator or climb stairs to the top. The monument was completed in 1884 and was the world's tallest structure for five years until the Eiffel Tower was built.

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