Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment re­opens af­ter re­pairs

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — Af­ter a three-year clo­sure, the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment is re­open­ing to the pub­lic.

The 555-foot stone obelisk closed in Septem­ber 2016 in or­der to re­place the ag­ing el­e­va­tor and up­grade se­cu­rity sys­tems.

The mon­u­ment will re­open to the pub­lic at noon on Thurs­day and first lady Me­la­nia Trump is ex­pected to at­tend the rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony.

The mon­u­ment has been closed for most of the past eight years.

An Au­gust 2011 earth­quake left cracks in the stones near the top of the obelisk. It re­opened in 2014 but Na­tional Park Ser­vice of­fi­cials were forced to close it again two years later af­ter a se­ries of el­e­va­tor break­downs.

The mon­u­ment, which was com­pleted in 1884 and re­mains the tallest struc­ture in Wash­ing­ton, av­er­ages about 500,000 vis­i­tors per year.

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