WASHINGTON (WJZ)– Closed indefinitely. After several safety concerns and issues over its elevator, the Washington Monument has been closed for the time being.
Just last month the National Park Service closed the monument several times because of reoccurring issues with the elevator. Now the decision has been made to upgrade the lift to solve the problem once and for all.
“I feel bad for tourists who you know have one shot of visiting Washington and going up the monument,” said D.C. resident Jan Lacey.
That’s because once again the elevator visitors take to get to the top of the more than 500-foot stone structure is closed, this time indefinitely.
“Rather than put our visitors and staff at risk we made a decision just to keep it closed until we can modernize the system and bring it up to date,” said Mike Litterst of the National Park Service.
This follows a number of breakdowns back in august. In one instance, employees ended up trapped inside.
“This is 2 times now that we’ve tried to go to the top and every time we’ve come here something has come up,” said one visitor.
Park service officials in a statement saying that despite several inspections they have not been able to figure out the source of the problem. Some believe the reoccurring problems are linked to the rare 5.8 earthquake that happened back in 2011. The quake caused more than 150 cracks in the monument. It took three years of repairs but, elevator problems persisted.
“We were bummed, I mean we traveled all this way and would like to go up so were bummed not to be able to get up there,” said visitor Jennifer Gold.
One congresswoman saying the timing could not be worse as thousands descend on the National Mall for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
A start date for the estimated $3 million project has not be determined.