African summit to close roads throughout downtown D.C.

WASHINGTON — A slew of street closures are on tap for downtown Washington.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will welcome African heads of state and government leaders to the nation’s capital from Monday, Aug. 4 to Wednesday, Aug. 6. The continent-wide summit is the largest event any U.S. president has held with African leaders.

With many foreign dignitaries in town, downtown travel will be further complicated by police escorts, motorcades and demonstrators.

Some federal workers have already received special orders to telework to reduce the impact the summit is expected to have on traffic. Sudden traffic stoppages are possible the weekend before and stretching into the middle of the work week anywhere between Dupont Circle, the West End, the Southwest Waterfront and the downtown grid.

Reggie Sanders with the D.C. Department of Transportation says there will be several venues used across the city for various meetings related to the summit.

“Motorists should pay close attention to motorcades and short-term road closures, which will cause short-term delays throughout the District,” he says.

The Metropolitan Police Department has released a list of all planned road closures, parking restrictions, pedestrian screening areas and tips for those using public transportation on its website.

Also, Sanders cautions that delays could result from unplanned protests and heavy pedestrian activity.

Beginning late Monday evening and lasting through Tuesday, street closures will go into place near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and near the Waterfront in Southwest. Portions of Maine Avenue, 12th Street and D Street will be closed through Tuesday.

On Tuesday, lane closures and complete traffic stoppages will be possible near the White House along 17th and 15th streets during presidential visits. Police movements will likely affect traffic several blocks away from these closures at random times, however.

On Wednesday, numerous streets will be blocked all day long near the State Department and the Institute of Peace. Virginia Avenue, Constitution Avenue, 23rd Street and others will be off-limits for much of the day. Virginia drivers who normally commute into the city using the Memorial and Roosevelt bridges will want to consider alternate routes.

Metrorail service won’t be affected. Some Metrobus routes will be detoured around the road closures. Cars parked along roads slated for closure will be ticketed and towed.

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