Mount Rushmore to undergo $14M renovation

KEYSTONE, S.D. (AP) -- - The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is getting a $14 million upgrade, though the carved heads of U.S. presidents won't be touched.

Maureen McGee-Ballinger is chief of interpretation and education at the popular landmark. She tells the Rapid City Journal that the construction is mostly overdue maintenance work.

The largest change funded by the $14 million congressional appropriation will be a streamlined avenue of flags. McGee-Ballinger says the flags will be placed onto concrete structures along the walkway's sides so people in wheelchairs can more easily access plaques memorializing states.

Other upgrades include removing part of the rock pergola to better reveal the terrace and installing lanterns to reduce light pollution.

The grand terrace will close during the renovations, but the avenue of flags, bookstore and cafeteria will remain open.
 

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