Protesters march through city to Key Bridge

Police are standing guard in Washington as Occupy D.C. protesters stage a demonstration along the Key Bridge connecting Georgetown with northern Virginia.

WASHINGTON – Police stood by in Washington as Occupy D.C. protesters staged a demonstration along the Key Bridge connecting Georgetown with northern Virginia on Thursday.

Officers blocked half of K Street for a march to the bridge Thursday afternoon. They also temporarily blocked half of the bridge. When protesters remained on the sidewalks of the bridge, police reopened it to cars.

Protesters reached the bridge at about 3:30 p.m. There was a heavy police presence in Georgetown, with officers dressed in regular uniforms.

On the Arlington, Va., side of the bridge, more than 30 officers stood by dressed in riot gear.

Protestors hung a large banner off the bridge that read, “D.C. bridges need work, so do we.”

Shortly before 5 p.m., as the temperature began to drop and the wind picked up, the protest began to slow with only about 75 remaining. By 6 p.m., the event was over.

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Our D.C., which organized the protest, said 300 people were expected to participate in the march.

Occupy D.C. planned to take part, and members told WTOP the protesters would not be on the roadway, but on sidewalks and to the side of the bridge.

Another group, Occupy NoVa, said it would march from Ballston to the Key Bridge at the same time.

“As you know, there’s always traffic on the bridge, and so we don’t need to add to any of that stress. I think that people seeing the protesters and sitting in traffic, maybe they’ll have some time to think about what we’re talking about,” says Benjamin Zucker with Occupy D.C.

Still, Arlington County officials warned ahead of time of possible protest-related delays.

“Potential impacts include the possibility of heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic between the Key Bridge, McPherson Square, and surrounding areas,” the county warns in an email alert.

The groups say they picked the Key Bridge because it represents U.S. infrastructure in need of repair. Protesters want more union labor hired to repair infrastructure.

The demonstration is part of a day of protests at decaying bridges. The groups are calling on Congress to stop funding cuts and create jobs.

WTOP reporters Mark Segraves and Andrew Mollenbeck will be with the protesters and at the bridge. Follow tweets from them and others below:

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The Associated Press and WTOP’s Adam Tuss and Neal Augenstein contributed to this story. Follow Adam, Neal and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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