Washington, D.C. –

The National Park Service has said the Washington Monument will be closed until mid-2014 to repair the damage it suffered during the 2011 earthquake that measured 5.8.

The bidding process began on June 29 and is expected to take between 12-18 months.

According to the NPS, the worst damage is between 475ft to 530ft up the structure.

The Washington Monument – built to commemorate the first US president, George Washington – usually has about 700,000 visitors a year.

Work on the monument began in 1848 but, after a 23-year hiatus – due in part to a lack of funds and the American Civil War, was only finished in 1884.

It was the world’s tallest structure for five years, until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in 1889.

Officials have said they hope to put a live webcam at the top of the monument during the repair process.

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