west side of Washington Monument pyramidion by US Park Police Aviation Unit
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - A major announcement by the National Park Service today about repairs to the Washington Monument and a timetable for its re-opening.
A 9-point-6 Million dollar contract has been awarded to a Boston-based company-the same team that built the Ronald Reagan Building.
Enjoy it now without scaffolding because the repair work here could take as long as 18 months. And web cameras will be installed so we can all keep track of the progress.
"It is beautiful. I'm so glad it didn't fall down," said Barbara Haynes. She and Jerre Haynes snapped photos of a scaffolding-free Washington monument while they still could.)
"We knew there was damage with the earthquake. We're used to earthquakes in California, but for here, I know it's a little different," said Barbara, a visitor from California.
"I said wow!," said Jerre Haynes.
"I have to say, this registered 7-point-4 on my Richter scale," said Robert Band of Perini Management Services.
Now, two men who each visited the Washington Monument as children are now leading a team that will repair it.
"Thrilled to death. We're very thrilled," said Brian Labbe of Perini Management Services. "In many ways, it's one of those signature projects as an engineer, as a construction man, something you wait your life for."
Scaffolding will go up within the next two months, with the same design that was used for the Monument restoration in 2000.
"I've heard from a number of people they liked it so much, they wanted to keep it in place. I can assure you that we will take it down as soon as the project is complete," said Bob Vogel, who is the Supt. of the National Mall.
The project is challenging. The heaviest damage to the Monument: between 475 and 530 feet-considered the most difficult area to access.
800-thousand visitors come to the Washington Monument every year, so repairing it is also important to the economy.