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Scaffolding slowly creeping up Washington Monument

Scaffolding covers a fourth of the Washington Monument on Wednesday, March 13. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The D.C. skyline is changing in a big way. At least for a little while.

Crews are rising scaffolding at a rate of about 10-feet each day around the Washington Monument.

“You can actually see some of the panels have big cracks in them,” explains Carol Johnson with the National Parks Service.

The iconic structure was damaged during a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in August of 2011.

“What they had to do was go stone by stone doing a survey assessing what the damage was,” she says.

“Cracks inside and outside developed, and there were pieces of the stone that actually fell off,” says Johnson.

Workers will remove loose pieces while securing cracked stones and high beams.

The repair job will take several months.

The Washington Monument has been closed to the public since the quake struck, but the parks service hopes to change that by spring of next year.

“We’re working as fast as possible,” Johnson says.

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