Iconic Washington Monument set to reopen this month
Washington Monument is slated to reopen to the public later this month after years of refurbishment works.
For much of the past ten years, visitors were only able to enjoy the iconic American monument from a distance on the National Mall in Washington DC. The site of the obelisk structure was closed in 2011 after a rare 5.8-magnitude earthquake damaged the tower and its elevator, Smithsonian magazine reported.
It took more than two years and US$15 million in repair work before the site reopened in May 2014. However, a couple years later a snapped cable on the elevator that takes people to the 500-foot observation level led to another closure.
Apart from repairs, the National Park Service also added a new glass-and-steel visitor screening centre with “full ballistic and blast protection”, a security office, and a queuing space for 18 to 20 visitors at a time, CNN Travel reported.
“The modernization of the monument’s elevator is substantially complete, with just final testing and certification of the safety systems remaining,” a representative said in late July.