Daredevil Washington Monument Inspection Starts

7 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, September 28 2011 Sep 28, 2011 Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:53:45 AM CDT September 28, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

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.

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