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Washington Monument Opening Date Still Unclear

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A view of one of the cracks the Washington Monument sustained in the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region in August.
National Park Service
A view of one of the cracks the Washington Monument sustained in the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region in August.

 

Engineers continue to assess the damage at the Washington Monument after last month’s earthquake, according to the Associated Press.

The 555-foot stone obelisk has been closed to the public since the quake, and later today, the National Park Service is expected to provide an update on the monument’s status. After the quake, engineers discovered several cracks near the top of the structure.  Later, heavy rain from Hurricane Irene also caused some problems with minor flooding.

The National Park Service says an assessment of the damage at the monument is continuing, and engineers are still a long way from saying when the obelisk can reopen to the public. A spokesman tells AP this year's "winterization" of the monument will be especially important, meaning cracks in the structure will be filled in temporarily so water and snow don’t get in.

The National Park Service is holding a press conference later today to talk about the repairs and the damage assessment.

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