team brought in contractors who had been part of the 1999-2000 restoration project, including Grunley Construction, Lorton Stone and Universal
In November 2012, Universal Builders Supply began to install the foundation
for the extensive scaffolding—500 tons of it. By the following February, the intricate network of scaffolding began making its way up the monument’s facade.
To prevent damage to the surface, the team could not simply install standard
scaffolding, however. Benefiting from lessons learned during the 1999-2000
repairs—and thus shaving off design time—the team used a system similar
to the one employed in the earlier project. The scaffolding stayed in place by
embracing the monument with a series of compression rings, since attaching
scaffolding to the monument was not an option.
“Every 26 feet [ 7. 9 meters], there were sets of ties, and those ties squeeze the
scaffolding to the monument, so there is no damage to the monument,” Mr.
For the project team, “do no harm” had another meaning: maintaining safety,
which was paramount from the start.
“With workers out on the exterior of the monument on scaffolding, certain
safety precautions were put in place to make sure we didn’t have any accidents,”
Weekly safety meetings were held with all team members, along with
monthly safety review meetings with major stakeholders, including the
National Park Service, the United States Capitol Police and subcontractors.
Any team members working on the exterior scaffolding had to undergo special
safety training sessions, and anyone working with a potential fall hazard of
n August 2011 A 5.8-magnitude
earthquake hits the U.S. East
Coast, damaging the Washington
Monument. It closes indefinitely
for evaluation and repairs.
n September-October 2011 A
“difficult-access team” rappels
down the four faces of the monument to assess the damage.
n January 2012 The National Park
Service receives a project budget
of US$15 million to restore the
n September 2012 Perini Management Services wins the repair
n February 2013 The project
team begins building a
weighing 500 tons.
n May 2013 With the scaffolding
complete, the team accesses the
most damaged, upper portion of
n July 2013 The repairs begin, starting at the top.
n November 2013 The scaffolding
begins to come down, followed by
repairs on the bottom portion of
n May 2014 The monument reopens
A team conducts the
in September 2011.
Workers put a repair in
Preparation for a
crack repair 2011