By: Maximillian Boudreaux
The Black Lives Matter movement has become a central vehicle for fighting for justice in Black culture and beyond, and now, this movement is set to leave an even greater mark, as construction began on Monday to make the Black Lives Matter Plaza a permanent fixture in the nation’s capital.
News of the construction of the new street was announced on Friday by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation, with a warning to the public about lane closures.
Construction to make #BlackLivesMatter Plaza a permanent installation will begin on Monday and is expected to conclude by October 1.
🚗 16th Street NW b/t H and K Sts will be closed to through traffic
🚶 Sidewalks will remain open to pedestrians
— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) July 16, 2021
DDOT will close down 16th street to cars between H and K Street. However, the sidewalks will remain open to pedestrians during construction and access to local businesses will be sustained.
Unfortunately, this construction will cause road closures, but afterwards, the plaza that had only been utilized by pedestrians for a year will now offer two-lane traffic.
According to DDOT, the lane closures are necessary to install roadway pavers, bollards and the permanent Black Lives Matter mural. Once completed, DDOT said, the permanent installation will protect pedestrian safety while accommodating vehicles and keeping with the spirit of the original design.
Construction on this new road will happen between 9:30 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. and the construction is expected to be finished by October 1, 2021.
16th street was officially renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza on June 5, 2020 after the world thrust into a global protest because of the killing of George Floyd.