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Washington Monument Reopens After Earthquake Repair

WASHINGTON — The scaffolding is down and the cracks are repaired and the Washington Monument is open again after being closed for nearly three years due to damage from an August 2011 earthquake.

The $15 million project repaired cracks and rainwater leaks in the 555-foot stone obelisk caused by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake, which caused debris to fall inside and outside the monument.

New exhibits were installed and visitors can again ride an elevator to the top of the monument, which reopened May 12.

Some damaged marble was replaced with stones saved from the steps of old Baltimore row houses, while other stone was taken from the Maryland quarry that produced the monument’s original marble.

In anticipation of increased visitation, the National Park Service has extended visiting hours through the summer from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.