Black Lives Matter Plaza to become permanent installation; lane closures begin Monday

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced Friday that construction to make Black Lives Matter Plaza a permanent installation will begin on Monday, July 19 with lane closures expected.

During construction, DDOT will close all northbound and southbound travel lanes to vehicular traffic on 16th Street NW between H Street NW and K Street NW. 

READ MORE: Here's what DC's massive Black Lives Matter street art looks like ... from space

Construction is expected to conclude by October 1, 2021.

Once completed, the permanent installation will protect pedestrian safety while accommodating vehicles and keeping with the spirit of the original mural design.

The Black Lives Matter mural was painted over in May of this year due to planned work by Pepco, sparking criticism online, including from Black Lives Matter DC. The mural was repainted days later.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter Plaza mural repainted after paved over

Bowser commissioned the 35-foot-tall message in June 2020 as her feud with President Donald Trump over local policing escalated.

It spells out "Black Lives Matter" in giant yellow letters down 16th Street near the White House. Bowser also renamed a stretch of 16th Street "Black Lives Matter Plaza."

READ MORE: DC residents gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza for Derek Chauvin decision

Construction will occur from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, and local access to businesses will be maintained. Through access, however, will remain closed for the duration of construction. 

Sidewalks will remain open to pedestrian traffic. Traffic controls, including signage, will be in place to guide motorists and pedestrians safely around the work zone.

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All users of the roadway are advised to stay alert and be observant of signage and work zones while traveling in this area.