Why Would We Repair the Elevator Now?

Catching up on some interesting tidbits. This one reported in the Washington Post last month:

“Two days after the Washington Monument’s gala reopening, its elevator malfunctioned twice Wednesday, briefly stranding passengers and forcing one group of visitors to walk down the 896 steps from the observation level — a 40-minute trek. In both instances, people were evacuated safely.

The glitches came two days after the 555-foot-tall landmark, damaged by an earthquake, reopened after a $15 million repair job that took 32 months and closed the site to visitors. But funding for repairs covered only damage caused by the 5.8-magnitude quake that struck Aug. 23, 2011. That was mainly stonework. It did not cover the aging elevator machinery.”

Ok, let me be sure I understand this — the elevator machinery is “aging”, and undoubtedly needs to be replaced soon. But we closed the monument for stone repair work for 32 months, and didn’t think to take that time to fix the elevator? So when they do replace the elevator, our tourists can plan to have the Monument inaccessible again, for who knows how long.

For anybody who thinks that government can do simple tasks in an intelligent way, we always have a reminder that this is not the case.