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Washington Monument to reopen for tours after nearly 3 years of repairs since earthquake

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    FILE - This June 2, 2013 file photo shows a damaged stone on the Washington Monument at the 491-foot level of the scaffolding surrounding the monument, in Washington. The monument, which sustained damage from an earthquake in August 2011, will re-open to the public on Monday, May 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (The Associated Press)

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    In this Friday, May 9, 2014 photo, visitors sit on the grass in front of the Washington Monument after the fencing which closed it off to the public during renovations was removed, in Washington. The monument, which sustained damage from an earthquake in August 2011, will re-open to the public on Monday, May 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (The Associated Press)

With more than 150 cracks patched and repaired in its white marble, the Washington Monument is set to reopen for the first time since a 2011 earthquake caused widespread damage.

The 130-year-old memorial honoring George Washington will reopen for public tours Monday. It's been closed for about 33 months for engineers to conduct an extensive restoration of the 555-foot stone obelisk.

Now new exhibits have been installed at the top, and visitors can once again ride an elevator to look out from the highest point in the nation's capital.

During the restoration, The Associated Press had a look at some of the worst damage from the 500-foot level. Stones were chipped and cracked all the way through in some places. Others had hairline cracks that had to be sealed.

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