Repairs due to earthquake damage will require the 555-foot Washington Monument to be closed and shrouded in scaffolding into 2014. The $15 million project will necessitate the temporary removal of part of the granite plaza surrounding the monument, and the bracing of huge stone slabs that now rest on cracked supports near the structure’s top.
The marble and granite monument was extensively damaged by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Washington, DC area last Aug. 23. The structure sustained cracks and loosened pieces of stone and mortar. The monument has been closed since the quake struck, and officials had said that it might open next year, but the complex restoration effort could stretch into 2014.