Washington Monument Indefinitely Closed Due to Continued Elevator Problems
Photo: Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington D.C. (Photo by Janeen Christoff)
On Monday, the National Park Service announced that the Washington Monument will close indefinitely while officials determine the problem with the tourist attraction’s elevator and attempt to fix it for good.
According to The Associated Press, the elevator for the Washington Monument has been a constant problem for the National Park Service, and the decision has been made to close the monument until its current elevator control system can be modernized.
While a start date for the $3 million upgrades has not been announced, officials believe it will take up to nine months to complete the project. For now, the 600,000 Washington Monument visitors each year will have to spend their time at other tourist attractions in Washington D.C. this winter.
Despite a recent inspection that took a full month to complete, the park service has still not been able to determine the problem with the monument’s lone elevator. While officials state that the elevator is still safe, the breakdowns cause problems that the National Park Service wants to avoid.
“There are other factors in play when we have service interruptions. When it gets stuck, people are stuck inside there for 40 minutes to an hour in cramped, closed quarters,” park service spokesman Mike Litterst said in a statement. “We couldn't put visitors or staff at risk by attempting to reopen, knowing it was likely going to happen again.”
The National Park Service hopes to have a timetable for the renovation project in the coming weeks.
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