WASHINGTON — The Washington Monument remains on schedule for reopening despite the nearly 100 feet of scaffolding still encasing its base.
“The scaffolding that you’re seeing is there for the re-pointing that we are doing on the lower 20 feet of the monument,” says Brian Hall with National Mall and Memorial Parks at the National Park Service.
The repairs come after an earthquake damaged the monument in 2011.
“They had to go through and do some stabilization on some of the rock at all levels of the monument,” Hall says.
Now, the work is in the home stretch.
“We’re through the vast majority of all the repairs; we are just down to the final little bit,” Hall says.
The plan is to reopen the monument in time for Cherry Blossom season, which will bring thousands from around the world to the D.C. area.
“We don’t have an exact date as of yet because it is a construction project, so we’re just leaving it now [as] spring of 2014,” says Hall.
While some visitors are disappointed that it’s not open yet, most understand that the repairs need to be done.
“The amount of people that go up [there] daily, it’s probably an astronomical number, and you’ve got to keep everybody safe,” says Larry Peacock, a tourist from Saratoga, N.Y.