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Washington Monument Could Be Closed For Repairs Until 2014

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Interior damage to the inside of the Washington Monument from the August 2011 earthquake.
Courtesy of the National Park Service
Interior damage to the inside of the Washington Monument from the August 2011 earthquake.

Fixing the earthquake damage to the Washington Monument will take much longer than first thought, and the national attraction could be closed until 2014.

Repairs to the damage suffered by the monument last year will require massive scaffolding to be built around the 550-foot obelisk, according to the National Park Service. A damage assessment found that scaffolding is needed to provide workers access to the top of the monument, because most of the damage is about 475 feet up on the structure, according to an engineering report.

The Park Service has offered the $15 million project up for bid and proposals are due by July 31. The agency hopes to award a contract and begin mobilizing in September. It will take between 12 and18 months to complete the repairs.

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