Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2014 04:24 | By Agence France-Presse

Washington Monument to reopen May 12 after quake repair

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.


Washington Monument to reopen May 12 after quake repair

Children slide along on an ice-covered walkway near the Washington Monument January 4, 2013 in Washington - by Karen Bleier

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.

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