Monument to reopen in February after three years of repairs

Thursday, January 31st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Washington Monument will reopen in February, almost a year behind schedule after a $10 million makeover.

The National Park Service says the delay occurred because of problems with a new elevator cab, which took more than a year to install.

Restoration of the obelisk honoring the nation's first president began in 1998. It included cleaning and repairing the exterior marble, building an expanded observation deck, renovating the elevator and installing a new climate-control system.

The monument has been closed to the public several times during the project, most recently in December 2000. Then, park service officials said they expected it to reopen in March 2001. When it is open, the monument draws about 1 million visitors a year.