To fully repair the Washington Monument from last year's earthquake, the iconic structure will once again have to be shrouded in scaffolding. The repair project is going to take a long time: 12 to 18 more months, and the total price tag will be $15 million.
Washington philanthropist David Rubenstein will pay half the cost of the repairs. The federal government will pay the other half.
Federal officials have awarded the repair contract to Perini Management Services, which will use subcontractors to erect scaffolding around the Washington Monument similar to the exterior repair project which occurred in 1999 and 2000.
Major cracks in the structure (and broken stones) are quite visible. A year ago, a team of engineers and architects spent two weeks making a panel-by-panel survey of the world's largest free-standing stone structure.
Mike Morelli, of the National Park Service, furnished reporters a partial list of repairs needed to keep the monument safe (and watertight) for the future.
"We're going to be removing any loose stone fragments, securing them with small-diameter drilled anchors, both interior and exterior," said Morelli. "They'll be stone patching using 'Dutchmen' (or other mortar patches), both interior and exterior. [There will be] stone crack repair using sealant or epoxy injection."
Morelli also said the lightning protection system at the top of the monument will also be replaced.
Construction of the scaffolding at the Washington Monument begins at the base in about two months. If the weather cooperates, the entire structure should be shrouded in scaffolding by this coming April or May.