“Difficult decision:” Washington Monument closed indefinitely following elevator issues

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The World War II Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol are seen beyond the waters of the reflecting pool on the National Mall August 8, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Monument will remain closed indefinitely, the National Park Service announced Monday, September 26th following ongoing elevator issues.

“The scope of work to be accomplished while the monument is closed and the duration of the closure are still being determined; we expect to have an announcement with those additional details in the next couple of weeks,” the National Park Service said in a statement.

Repairs were expected to be over by mid-September. However, determining the reasons for the elevator issues has taken longer than expected, National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst told CNN on Monday.

“Basically, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to keep the monument closed until the modernization work on the elevator is completed,” Litterst said, characterizing the move as a “long-term” closure.

The monument was shut down in mid-August when a cable broke loose in the elevator that takes visitors on a 555-foot ride up the structure to take in sky-high views of the nation’s capital.

Litterst said that although National Park Service officials previously considered the theory that a 2011 earthquake could have contributed to the elevator problems, a third-party inspector didn’t “see any evidence” that the earthquake is a factor.

A block-by-block inspection of the monument began in August 2011, after the structure experienced ground motion from the 2011 earthquake that struck the neighboring state of Virginia.