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Monument To Reopen One Year Late

Britain's Prince Charles, left, meets with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on Oct. 30, 2006. The prince canceled a planned Tuesday trip to the border city of Peshawar, where protesters gathered Monday to denounce a weekend air strike.
AP/Press Information Dept., HO
The Washington Monument is finally set to reopen next month. That's almost a year behind schedule.

The monument underwent a $10 million-dollar makeover that included cleaning and repairing the marble, building a bigger observation deck, installing a new climate control system and fixing the elevator.

It was the elevator that caused the delay. National Park Service officials say they ran into problems with the new elevator cab, which took more than a year to install.

Restoration of the obelisk honoring the nation's first president began in 1998.

The monument has been closed to the public several times during the project, most recently in December 2000. Then, park service officials said they expected it to reopen in March 2001. When it is open, the monument draws about 1 million visitors a year.

Once the monument does reopen, visitors will have to have a ticket to go inside. They're free, though, and can be picked up at a nearby kiosk.

People will also have to walk through a metal detector at the base of the monument and have their bags X-rayed.

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