(WASHINGTON-AFP) – The Washington Monument will reopen to the public on May 12, nearly three years after it was shut due to damage from a rare earthquake centered near the US capital.
The 170-meter (555-foot) obelisk, a major tourist draw, was shuttered when engineers found more than 150 cracks in the structure in the wake of a 5.8-magnitude quake in Virginia in August 2011.
The repair bill totalled $15 million.
“We are delighted to be in the home stretch with the repairs to the Washington Monument… and we look forward to the re-opening on May 12,” National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis said on Tuesday.
The landmark — erected in honor of George Washington, the first US president, and completed in 1885 — is located in the middle of the National Mall, between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
The 2011 quake, which rattled a swathe of the US East Coast, was centered in Louisa County, northwest of Richmond. It also caused significant damage to the National Cathedral in Washington.