PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Washington Monument re-opened Tuesday, after being closed for nearly three years following an earthquake that cracked and shook loose some of the stones.
Towering scaffolding enabled workers to repair the damage. At night, the obelisk was illuminated, adding an aesthetic touch. But now that the job is finished, where should the scaffolding go?
Would you believe, the North Shore of Pittsburgh, near the West End Bridge?
This is where the Great Allegheny Passage, linking Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh, begins or ends, depending on which way you’re traveling.
Mayor Bill Peduto says he asked for the scaffolding– 37 miles of aluminum tubing– during a meeting at the White House in December.
“Of that two-hour meeting we had with the president and vice-president, it was the only time that he just started breaking up laughing,” the Mayor recalls. “And he asked, Why do you want it? I’m sure his first thought was scrap metal. And I said that it’s a great ways to highlight one of America’s best bike trails.”
Trail users gave the plan a thumbs up, even if they weren’t sure why.
“I think it’s a way of representing our past,” one trail user says. “It’s a really cool idea.”
“As far as why, I’m not entirely sure,” says another.
Mayor Peduto says there is a rationale behind it.
“Wouldn’t it be great if it started at the Washington Monument and ended at the Washington Monument?”
Though the idea is still up in the air, another trail user says, “I think it will be nice, because it’s starting and ending with something so monumental.”