The National Park Service has awarded a contract to Perini Management Services, Inc. of Framingham, to repair damage to the Washington Monument caused by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Washington D.C. area in Aug. of 2011.
"We are honored to be of service to the National Park Service for this important work. Our highly experienced team includes Grunley Construction Company, Lorton Stone, and Universal Builders Supply, who previously worked collaboratively on the Washington Monument Restoration in 2000. We are delighted to be able to lead this team to restore this national treasure," said Robert Band, President of Tutor Perini Corporation and CEO of Perini Management Services, Inc. in a press release.
The award of the contract clears the way for repair work to begin. The $15 million project is expected to take 12-18 months, including a stoppage due to presidential flyovers. Scaffolding will be erected around the monument.
"This is a major step toward getting the Monument safely opened to the public once again," said Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. "We know that visitors have been disappointed that the Monument has been closed. I want to assure them that the National Park Service is doing everything possible to get this iconic landmark reopened as soon as possible, and we appreciate their patience."
Funding for the $9.6-million contract comes from a congressional appropriation of $7.5 million that was matched by a donation from philanthropist David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group. Rubenstein made his $7.5-million gift, announced in January, through the Trust for the National Mall, the National Park Service philanthropic partner for the National Mall. The remainder of the $15 million will go toward the completed damage assessment, construction management, a contingency fund and overhead, among other things.
A lot of work has already been done on the Monument. After the Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake, a team of Natonal Park Service and consultant experts immediately inspected the Monument and determined the damage it sustained required its closure.
A Difficult Access Team was brought in to do emergency weatherproofing and remove loose stone inside the Monument.
A detailed exterior survey that mapped the damaged areas was completed last October, its findings were analyzed, and construction documents were drawn up in preparation for putting the work out to bid in late June.
Most of the damage was to the Pyramidion (the pyramid-shaped top), between 475-feet and 530-feet.
Repairs have been completed on the Monument's elevator, which was severely damaged by the quake. The force of the temblor twisted the elevator's counterweight frame and rails and stretched its cables. In addition, a seismic study has been completed.
The work covered by the new contract award includes the removal of loose stone fragments, the repair of stone and mortar joint damage, and the removal and replacement of the lightning protection system.
At the visitor observation levels of the Pyramidion, work will include the removal, repair, and reinstallation of glass enclosure panels.
It also includes a temporary scaffold system that will surround the Monument for the majority of the project. The scaffolding will be similar to the one erected for the 1998-2000 restoration of the structure.