Earthquake-damaged Washington Monument covered in scaffolding; stone repair to start soon

The Washington Monument is now covered in scaffolding from top to bottom.

The completion of the scaffolding on Monday is a milestone in the $15 million project to repair the monument, which was damaged in a 2011 earthquake. It's been closed ever since and is not expected to reopen until next year.

The scaffolding around the 555-foot obelisk took about three months to construct.

Perini Management Services Inc. of Framingham, Mass., has the contract to repair the monument. Perini project manager Robert Collie says that formal repair of damaged stones will begin in about three weeks. No stones have to be replaced, but about 50 will need to be patched.

Repair crews are also sealing cracks with epoxy and reinforcing them with steel anchors.