March on Washington: Road closures, Metro schedule

Traffic is at a standstill in D.C. (Photo: Jennifer Donelan)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – On any given Wednesday, traffic in the District is a crawl. But with three living presidents commemorating the March on Washington, security will be extra tight tomorrow.

A bolstered police presence and miles of barriers and bulletproof glass are certain to catch everyone’s eye, which is why the D.C. Department of Transportation is warning commuters to expect extreme gridlock – starting with a citywide suspension of construction-related commercial deliveries.

If it pours concrete, delivers supplies, or hauls debris, it’s halted until midnight on Wednesday. And the news is catching crews by surprise on Tuesday night.

"I have a couple of port-a-potties that I have to deliver to First Street," said delivery driver Jason Kramer.

There will be roadblocks throughout Ward 2 and Ward 6, as all road work and non-emergency commercial traffic is suspended through midnight on Wednesday.

And federal workers also need to be on alert, as the Office of Personnel Management expects all agencies to be open but is recommending an alternative work schedule day off or annual leave day. Meanwhile, government workers are encouraged to telework on Wednesday due to the commute.

Almost every major road and side street feeding the Mall will be shut down from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m., as thousands of people are expected to flood the National Mall.

The March for Jobs and Justice begins at 9 a.m. Those attending the event will gather in the 600 block of New Jersey Avenue NW near the Georgetown University Law School. Expect heavy foot traffic and delays as marchers make their way to the National Mall.

President Barack Obama and former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will speak at the event at about 1 p.m. If you’re heading to the event, you are strongly advised to use public transportation. Metro stations near the National Mall and Memorial Parks, U.S. Capitol, and President's Park will remain open through the day.

Officials recommend Metro riders use the following stations to get to the Mall: Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Farragut North, Farragut West, Capitol South, L'Enfant Plaza, Union Station, Federal Center SW.

Ticketed participants with mobility issues can take advantage of a free shuttle offered from the Foggy Bottom Metro into the event. DDOT officials say that riders should avoid the Arlington Cemetery, Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations; the Memorial Bridge will be closed to foot traffic and the two others are subject to major crowding.

Starting at 4 a.m., The National Park Service will close the following monument sites through 4 p.m.

  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • World War II Memorial
  • District of Columbia War Memorial

The following streets close at 3 a.m. and are scheduled to reopen by 6:30 p.m.:

  • Westbound ramp from I-395 to Maine Avenue SW; all traffic will be diverted to the 12th Street Tunnel
  • Ramp from 9th Street tunnel to westbound Maine Avenue Southwest; all traffic will be diverted to outbound I-395
  • 200 block of Maiden Lane at the merge with Maine Avenue SW; all traffic will be diverted to northbound 14th Street Southwest
  • Southbound Potomac River Freeway and ramp to Independence Avenue; traffic will be diverted to the outbound Theodore Roosevelt Bridge
  • Ramp from eastbound Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to Independence Avenue Northwest

These roadways will close starting Wednesday at 3:15 a.m.:

  • 17th Street between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue
  • Daniel French Drive
  • 23rd Street between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue
  • Henry Bacon Drive
  • Arlington Memorial Bridge
  • Rock Creek Parkway between Virginia Avenue to Parkway Drive
  • Independence Avenue between 15th and 23rd streets
  • Ohio Drive between the Inlet bridge and Parkway Drive
  • Maine Avenue between 15th Street and Independence Avenue.
  • Tidal Basin parking lot

Commercial cars will not be permitted on Constitution Avenue between 1 and 3:45 p.m.

High security is expected at the event and many everyday items will be prohibited. Here is a complete list of what you need to leave at home.

  • Backpacks
  • Bags and signs exceeding size restrictions (8"x6"x4")
  • Bicycles
  • Balloons
  • Coolers
  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition
  • Animals other than helper/guide dogs
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Glass or thermal containers
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace/Pepper spray
  • Packages
  • Structures
  • Supports for signs and placards
  • Weapons of any kind

If you need help, first aid stations will be located on both sides of the Reflecting Pool. Cooling tents are also available on the north side of the Reflecting Pool.

Water refilling stations will be available to the public and refreshments will be available for purchase.