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Published: Tue, September 27, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Elevator trouble closes Washington Monument indefinitely

Elevator trouble closes Washington Monument indefinitely

The Washington Monument is closed to the public for the foreseeable future as officials have been unable to get a handle on the continuing problems with the monument's elevator, according to a statement from the National Park Service as reported by WTOP.

"Basically, we've had to make the hard decision to keep the monument closed until the modernization work on the elevator is completed", Litterst said, characterizing the move as a "long-term" closure.

The Washington Monument is closing indefinitely because of ongoing problems with its elevator, the latest in a series of woes for one of the city's most enduring tourist attractions.

Work will continue on the monument, which attracts about 600,000 visitors a year, for an unknown period of time, the Parks Service said.

NPS will give an update in "the next couple weeks" on how long the repairs will take. But elevator issues continued.

Electrical short-circuiting has forced the closure of the marble obelisk about two-dozen times since it reopened in May 2014 following repairs for quake damage sustained in 2012. After the August incident, the NPS said it would investigate how long it would take to completely overhaul the elevator system, which hasn't seen an upgrade in nearly 20 years. The overhaul will focus on the elevator's electrical infrastructure, computer system and control panel.

In an incident in August, tourists in the monument's elevator were forced to exit using stairs because the elevator doors failed to open.

No mention was made of damage to the control system, which has caused elevator outages since the monument reopened almost two years ago. Repairs to the marble structure took about three years to complete and cost about $15 million.

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