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Cracks Caused By Earthquake Closes Washington Monument


Cracks near the top of the Washington Monument caused by Tuesday's earthquake are being given a closer inspection by structural engineers. NPS file photo.

Engineers are taking another look at the Washington Monument today to determine whether any cracks caused by Tuesday's earthquake created structural problems with the iconic monument in Washington, D.C.

The monument was closed Tuesday, along with the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, after the 5.8 quake jiggled a large swath of the East Coast. While the two memorials were soon reopened, National Park Service officials decided a closer inspection by structural engineers of cracks in the stone near the top of the Washington Monument was warranted.

That inspection also should help officials decide how best to repair the cracks so the monument can be reopened. The Washington Monument grounds have been reopened except for an area about 100 feet outside of the plaza.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial remain open, according to the Park Service. Beyond those facilities, the Park Service plans to inspect all of the structures throughout the National Capital Region to determine structural integrity and to ensure visitor safety.


Grrrr...I'm heading there in 2 months. I so hope the damage isn't too bad.

Earthquake impressions on two levels:
1) Human.  No lives were lost, no injuries that I read about.  Sobering to think how much more powerful than this one the earthquake in Japan was, let alone the devastating tsunami that resulted.
2) Heritage.  Thank goodness only some cracks in the Washington Monument and National Cathedral spires.  After human lives, what could be worse than the destruction of the symbols of our national heritage?

Yes, there are cracks in our National Heritage.  What a loaded statement that is, Bruce!

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