The Marine Corps War Memorial will get a much-needed facelift starting Tuesday, temporarily limiting some public access to the area through February 2018, according to the National Park Service.
The $5.37 million rehabilitation project will close the loop road around the memorial and adjacent parking lot, so tour buses and pedestrians will have to access the plaza via Meade Street.
Street parking along Meade is scarce and residential streets are limited to zone placard holders. The NPS is encouraging visitors to use the Metrorail - both Rosslyn and Arlington National Cemetery stations are a 15-minute walk from the memorial. Meanwhile, there are back racks available for visitors who choose to bicycle to the site.
Scaffolding will surround the sculpture for much of the project’s duration. Workers will re-gild the engravings on the sculpture’s pedestal, clean and wax the sculpture and granite base, and improve lighting, landscaping and infrastructure.
The road will be restored to its current configuration, but with the ability to withstand the many tour buses that use the loop every day.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the Marine Corps War Memorial on Nov. 10, 1954 - the 179th birthday of the Corps. More than 1.5 million people visit the site annually.
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