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Street, Bridge Closures Set for Opening Events

By Eric M. Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 15, 2009

Security officials announced yesterday that the Memorial and Roosevelt bridges will be closed to inbound traffic during Sunday's inaugural opening ceremonies and concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

The Memorial Bridge will also be closed to pedestrians. Pedestrians will not be able to access the event from the Arlington Cemetery Metro exit.

Officials are also placing extraordinary security restrictions on attendees, including forbidding coolers, backpacks, bicycles, pets and bags exceeding 6-by-4-by-8 inches. Signs or placards must be made of cardboard, poster board or cloth and be no wider than three feet, no longer than 20 feet and no thicker than a quarter-inch.

District officials also announced a series of area street closures that will begin at 5 a.m. and last until 5 p.m.

The opening ceremonies, "We Are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial," will be held at the Lincoln Memorial, between Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW on 23rd Street. The ceremonies will feature President-elect Barack Obama and an all-star lineup of performers and celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce and Bono.

The event is free and spectators will be allowed into the area beginning at 8 a.m. The festivities begin at 2:30 p.m.

Public entrances will be at Constitution Avenue NW at 19th Street NW; Constitution Avenue NW at Virginia Avenue NW: 17th Street NW at North Elm Walk NW; 17th Street NW at South Elm Walk NW; and Independence Avenue NW at the D.C. War Memorial.

The Reflecting Pool area, JFK Hockey Fields and Constitution Gardens will be open on a first-come, first-served basis.

D.C. Department of Transportation officials recommend that attendees take Metrorail to Farragut North and Metro Center on the Red Line; Farragut West, Federal Center and Smithsonian on the Blue and Orange lines; and L'Enfant Plaza and Archives on the Green and Yellow lines.

There will also be parking and shuttle service available at RFK Stadium. The shuttles will depart from Lot 8 and drop off and pick up at Independence Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets NW.

Metro will be providing additional service Sunday to get people to and from the welcoming ceremony, according to spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. "This will be similar to the service we provide for July Fourth," she said. "It will be July Fourth on steroids."

Staff writer Lena H. Sun contributed to this report.

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