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Automated system blamed after Washington Monument goes dark

An early morning runner passes the haze shrouded reflecting pool and Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington  Nov. 30 in the Nation's Capital. (J. David Ake / Associated Press)
An early morning runner passes the haze shrouded reflecting pool and Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington Nov. 30 in the Nation's Capital. (J. David Ake / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Officials say the clock in the Washington Monument’s automated lighting system is likely out of sync after the monument went dark.

The spotlights that illuminate the monument went out about 7 p.m. Tuesday, but the National Park Service said in a statement that they were on again when electricians arrived Wednesday morning. Officials say they expect the lights to be on Wednesday evening as usual.

The monument has been closed to visitors since August because of ongoing problems with its elevator, which carries visitors to an observation deck near the top of the 555-foot tall monument. It usually draws 600,000 visitors a year.

In December, officials announced a $2 million to $3 million project to modernize the elevator. The monument is expected to reopen to visitors in 2019.

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