Washington Monument reopening has been delayed till no less than August
WASHINGTON — The reopening of the Washington Monument, scheduled for this spring, has been delayed due to the presence of probably contaminated underground soil, the Nationwide Park Service stated Monday.
The soil “is beneath the bottom floor and poses no danger to public well being,” spokesman Mike Litterst stated in a press release.
“The soil in query was doubtless launched within the 1880s because the monument was being accomplished,” he stated. “Because of the crucial mitigation efforts, the reopening of the Washington Monument is now anticipated to happen in August.”
The monument has been closed since August 2016 for the development of a brand new customer screening facility and modernization of the elevator, which takes guests to the 500-foot remark stage.
One of many tallest free-standing masonry constructions on the planet, the monument can be maybe essentially the most acknowledged of American constructions.
It was broken through the 2011 earthquake, reopened after which closed once more for elevator substitute and building of the customer facility.
The monument’s cornerstone was laid July four, 1848, at a ceremony attended by then-President James Polk, and then-congressman Abraham Lincoln. Work halted from 1858 to 1878 due to an absence of funds.
In December 1884, a three,300 pound marble capstone was positioned atop the monument and capped with a pyramid of aluminum.
The next Feb. 21, on a sunny, frigid day, the monument was devoted.
However a number of years later, officers deposited 250,000 cubic yards of soil to create the knoll that surrounds the monument, Litterst stated in an interview.
For the development of the guests facility, employees deliberate to dig 16 geothermal wells for heating and cooling of the constructing.
However Litterst stated the District’s Division of Power and Setting knowledgeable the Park Service that the world the place the nicely “subject” is deliberate might need contaminated soil.
Litterst stated the Park Service deliberate to incorporate particular metallic sleeves across the wells to stop leaching of any contamination into the wells.