Contractor picked for Washington Monument repairs

Engineers rappel from the top of the Washington Monument to inspect for damage. (AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The National Park Service says a Massachusetts contractor has been named to repair earthquake damage to the Washington Monument.

The park service announced Wednesday that Perini Management Services, Inc. of Framingham, Mass., has been chosen for the $15 million project.

Federal officials say the contractor’s parent was the prime contractor for the construction of the Ronald Reagan Building, the largest building in the district. And the contractor’s team includes firms involved in a restoration of the monument completed in 2000.

The 555-foot-tall obelisk has been closed to the public since a 5.8- magnitude earthquake in August 2011. The upper portion of the monument sustained large cracks when it shook violently during the quake.

Engineers say scaffolding will have to be built around the monument, which will likely be closed until 2014.

The monument was completed in 1884 and was the world’s tallest structure until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was built.

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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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