The reopening of the Washington Monument, which had been set for this spring after being closed for nearly three years, will be delayed and is now expected to take place in August, the National Park Service announced on Monday.
The delay is due to potentially contaminated soil discovered at the site of a new security screening area, which the authorities said is below the ground surface and poses no risk to public health.
"The soil was apparently introduced in the 1880s as the monument was being completed,” the National Park Service said in a statement.
The 555-foot-high Washington Monument has been closed since August 2016 in order to build the new security screening area and also to modernize the elevator that brings visitors to the observation level, The Hill reported.
The elevator had repeatedly broken down in the months leading up to the decision to close the monument in 2016, according to WTOP.
The authorities said the improvements to the elevator are “substantially complete, with just final testing and certification of the safety systems remaining.”