Daredevil Washington Monument Inspection Starts
WASHINGTON - Engineers harnessed to ropes have begun an exterior inspection of the quake-damaged Washington Monument.
The team of two women and two men climbed to the very top of the 555-foot monument Wednesday to start the daredevil work that will include them rappeling down for a close-up look at each stone. Each is using a digital camera, an iPad and a soft mallet for audio testing.
The government called in a private firm whose team is certified with a rare combination of climbing and engineering skills.
The inspection was delayed a day because of lightning. A team worked for hours Tuesday setting up equipment and creating a protective barrier around the monument's lightning rods. The engineers will be looking for cracks, chips and other damage caused by the 5.8-magnitude quake.