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Washington Monument scaffolding to come down; last night to see lights

10:51 AM, Oct 31, 2013   |    comments
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Washington Monument suggested for all ages: 'Although seismic repairs resulting from earthquake damage in 2011 have suspended the elevator ride to the observation room at the 500-foot level until sometime in 2014, you can still admire this iconic obelisk and fly a kite on the expansive grounds' (Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Sunday is your last night to see the scaffolding on the Washington Monument in lights.

The National Parks Service will turn off the decorative lights on Monday in preparation for taking down the scaffolding.

Deconstruction of the scaffolding, which is up for workers to repair damage from the August 2011 earthquake, will begin the week of November 11 and will take about three months to take down completely.

"I know the decorative scrim and lighting are popular and will be missed, but we are excited that this brings us one step closer to reopening," said Bob Vogel, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. 

Officials say the Monument is expected to reopen to the public in Spring of 2014. 

The exterior work is about 80 percent complete. Cracks at the top of the Monument, where most of the damage occurred, have been filled. Work will continue on the lower portions as the scaffolding is removed.

Work on the interior, where there are structural repairs are being made, will also continue. Interior work is about 30 percent complete. 
 
Once the work on the building is done, the plaza around it will be replaced and the landscaping in the area restored. 
 
"There's still considerable work to be done, but we're really grateful to our contractors for keeping this project on schedule, said Vogel. 

Perini Management Services is the primary contractor for the project. Other firms working on the job are UBS, Lorton Stone and Grunley Construction Company.



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