Road closures for Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication (Map)
With beautiful weather, visitors and attendees are hopeful the ceremony to dedicate the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial will go forward on Sunday after the event was canceled due to Hurricane Irene.
King's daughter Berniece lead a group full of anticipation to Sunday's dedication.
"My father has a memorial in Washington, D.C., and me and my brothers, the three of us can say that is such a humbling thought and feeling,” she said.
Berniece will be among the speakers, thousands of people are expected for the ceremony. The stage where Aretha Franklin and others will perform is being set up and 50,000 chairs for the public line West Potomac Park.
Alex George has traveled to D.C. from Texas for the second time after the planned ceremony in August was cancelled.
"I decided to come back again. It is a historic event and a historic moment for all of us,” George said.
Sunday's forecast is sunny so the park service is expecting large crowds. No tickets are required. Tight security and closed roads are expected. President Barack Obama will deliver the dedication address at the site of the statute, which will be closed to the public that day.
Tom Finch of Chicago is charge of the jumbo trons so people standing further back will still be able to see the speakers. Finch was 11 years old when he came to D.C. to see King deliver his famous “I have a dream” speech.
"Dr. King blazed the trail which is now why I am business,” Finch said. “I am kinda proud of that."
Officials urge spectators to use Metro, which opens at 5 a.m. on Sunday. The Arlington Cemetery, Smithsonian and Foggy Bottom stations are closest.
Several road closures will be instituted on Sunday to facilitate the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington.
The closures begin at 4 a.m. and will be lifted when Park Police deem the roads safe for travel again, the National Park Service says.
Here's a list of the closures:
-Ramp from inbound Memorial Bridge to Ohio Drive SW and Independence
Avenue. All traffic will be sent north to 23rd Street and Henry Bacon
-17th Street between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue.
-Southbound Ohio Drive at Parkway Drive. All traffic will be sent to
Parkway Drive and the Lincoln Memorial Circle.
-Ramp from Potomac Freeway to Ohio Drive. All traffic will be sent to
Potomac Freeway or Rock Creek Parkway.
-Eastbound Independence Avenue between 15th Street and 23rd Street SW.
-Westbound Independence Avenue between 15th Street and 23rd Streets SW.
-Periodic road closures on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 17th
Streets and on 15th Street between Constitution Avenue and Maine