Funeral procession for John Lewis prompts DC street closures

A funeral procession for civil rights icon and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis is planned in the District later today, before his body lies in state at the U.S. Capitol.

The ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The city said there will be increased police activity in support of the procession and temporary road closures in the following locations between approximately 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.:

  • Suitland Parkway
  • I-695 and I-395
  • Maine Avenue, SW
  • Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
  • Independence Avenue, SW from 14th Street to Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • 23rd Street from Lincoln Memorial to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Constitution Avenue from 23rd Street to 3rd Street, NE
  • 17th Street from Constitution Avenue to K Street, NW
  • H Street from 17th to 15th Street, NW
  • 15th Street from Constitution Avenue to K Street, NW
  • 12th Street Tunnel
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 15th Street to 3rd Street, NW
  • 3rd Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW
  • Independence Avenue from 3rd Street, SW to 2nd Street, SE
  • 2nd Street, SE from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • I Street, NW from 14th to 18th Street, NW

Street closures and listed times are subject to change based upon “prevailing or unexpected conditions,” according to D.C. traffic officials.

The United States Capitol Police said the following street closures are in effect through approximately 1 p.m. Wednesday:

  • East Capitol Street NE/SE, from Second Street, NE/SE, to First Street, NE/SE
  • First Street, NE/SE, from Constitution Ave., NE, to Independence Ave., SE

United States Capitol Police cautioned “there may additional street closures around the U.S. Capitol as it becomes necessary; other law enforcement agencies may close streets outside of Capitol Grounds as warranted. Access to the perimeter will be restricted to those bearing proper U.S. Capitol Police authorization and credentials.”


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Due to the forecast weather conditions, USCP is advising anyone planning to attend the outdoor viewings to bring water and umbrellas, and to wear “lightweight clothing, sunhats, and take other precautions as warranted.”

Monday will be mostly sunny but hot and humid again, with afternoon highs in the mid to upper 90s and a heat index value of around 100 degrees.

The National Weather Service issued an air quality alert for the Baltimore metropolitan area, meaning air pollution there may become unhealthy for sensitive groups — though as of Monday morning, that advisory had not been extended into Washington.

The city said commuters should expect parking restrictions along the affected streets and posted emergency no parking signage.

It cautions that all vehicles found in violation of the emergency “no parking” signs will be ticketed and towed.

The city is encouraging motorists who may be in the area at the time to consider alternate routes.

The District is also reminding individuals planning to observe the procession of the city’s requirement to wear masks, and to stay hydrated.

If Monday’s temperature or heat index in D.C. is 92 degrees or higher, the District said it will activate a Heat Emergency and open cooling centers across the city.

Following the 1:30 p.m. invitation-only arrival ceremony, an outdoor public viewing on the East Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol is scheduled from approximately 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Another public viewing at the same location is planned between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday.

No flowers, sealed envelopes, or other offerings and tokens will be allowed to be left on or near the U.S. Capitol steps, along with the standing list of prohibited items on the Capitol grounds, according to U.S. Capitol Police.

The Capitol building will remain closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is restricted to only those with congressional credentials, according to the USCP.

Those choosing to attend the public viewing are being advised to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. Capitol Police said social distancing will be “strictly enforced in the public lines, and the wearing of face coverings/masks will be required to enter the lines and participate in the public viewing.”

Lewis died last week at the age of 80. The Democratic congressman was well respected by both sides of the aisle. Some labeled him the “conscience of Congress.”


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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