WASHINGTON — It’s an engineering double punch: While the Washington Monument is closed for repairs to its elevator, crews will get to work on a new visitors center and geothermal wells for the popular tourist attraction.
The goal of the National Park Service is to have the new visitors screening facility ready when the monument reopens.
“They want to start this. The whole impetus for this kind of happening now is because of the closure of the Washington Monument,” said Carlton Hart, an urban designer with the National Capital Planning Commission.
The screening facility currently set up was meant to be temporary. See the plan for the new facility on the planning commission’s website.
“It really was intended to be an element that can be reversible — something that would be permanent, but if they found they didn’t really need to use it or need to have screenings at some point in the future, they’d be able to remove it,” Hart said.
While the park service can begin finding a crew to complete the modern glass structure, there’s an additional project going on 220 feet to its east: Visitors will soon see crews digging 60 geothermal wells to heat and cool the monument and its new extension.
Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect an accurate distance of the geothermal wells from the monument.
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