WASHINGTON -- The National Park Service expects to keep the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument closed to visitors into 2014 as repair work continues at the iconic obelisk on the National Mall.
The Washington Post reports that the repair work will require exterior and interior scaffolding, plus the possible temporary removal of some benches and flagpoles from the monument's plaza.
The Washington Monument was one of a handful of structures in the nation's capital that sustained damage from the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8-magnitude quake centered in Central Virginia's Louisa County. Others include the Washington National Cathedral, Union Station, Sherman Hall at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, two buildings at the Catholic University of America and Arlington House at Arlington National Cemetery.
The monument, once the world's tallest structure, was shaken and sustained damage, will involve installing 31 metal brackets in the pointed pyramidion to strengthen exterior slabs, the Post reports. The NPS is interested in using the decorative nylon scrim -- which illuminated the monument during exterior work 12 years ago -- depending on cost.
In this Sept. 29, 2011 file photo, Dan Lemieux, manager of the Washington Monument inspection project, holds a loose chunk of marble off the monument damaged by an earthquake Aug. 23 earthquake. A billionaire history buff has stepped forward to donate a $7.5 million matching gift that's needed to start repairing cracks near the top of the Washington Monument caused by last summer's East Coast earthquake.
David Bruce Crockett, a geodesist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey uses an instrument to measure elevation on the National Mall, with the Washington Monument in the background, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, in Washington. Government surveyors are collecting data around the Washington Monument and other sites on the National Mall that will reveal whether it has sunk or tilted since last year's earthquake.
Eric Duvall, cartographic technician, left, and Jeff Olsen, geodesist, both with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey, measures elevation on the National Mall, with the Washington Monument in the background, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, in Washington. Government surveyors are collecting data around the Washington Monument and other sites on the National Mall that will reveal whether it has sunk or tilted since last year's earthquake.
In this Aug. 24, 2011 file photo released by the National Park Service, a crack is seen on the west side near the pyramid top of the Washington Monument after a 5.8 magnitude struck the Washington area on Aug. 23. Researchers in a nationwide study of earthquakes will soon place new instruments in Georgia and other eastern states as they seek to learn more about what causes them and where they might strike. Scientists involved in the study say the recent earthquake in Virginia, which cracked the Washington Monument, has led to a renewed emphasis on trying to understand more about what lies below the Earth's surface in eastern states.
In this Sept. 28, 2011, file photo, Dave Megerle, a member of Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Associates (WJE) "Difficult Access Team," attaches ropes to the top of the Washington Monument, on the National Mall, in Washington, from which four people will rappel down the sides to survey the extent of damage sustained to the monument from the Aug. 23 earthquake.