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Protest march heads toward Key Bridge

March could snarl traffic Thursday afternoon, evening

Protesters from Occupy DC march thru the streets of downtown Washington DC late November 15, 2011. The protesters started a new march on Thursday to the Key Bridge (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

4:25 p.m. Occupy D.C. marchers leave Key Bridge

Occupy D.C. protesters leave Key Bridge, march up M Street and back through downtown. D.C. police say few problems so far.

4:02 p.m. Occupiers end up at the Key Bridge

Hundreds of protesters from the Occupy D.C. movement move through the streets of Georgetown as tourists gawk and reach for their cameras outside Georgetown Cupcake. At the bridge, they are greeted by dozens of police from both D.C. and Arlington, as well as U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the waters of the Potomac

3:51 p.m. Occupy protests from around the country

As Occupy D.C. protesters head to the Key Bridge, the Associated Press reports that 175 people from the Occupy movement were arrested in New York for blocking streets near the New York Stock Exchange. Police in Los Angeles arrested 23 people and were also planned or under way in such cities as St. Louis, Las Vegas and Portland, Ore.

3:40 Tweets from the scene

3:30 p.m. Occupy DC march to Key Bridge begins

Marchers from Occupy D.C. movement — along with teacher and other representatives from local labor unions — were on M Street marching downtown as rush hour approached, heading toward Key Bridge in Georgetown. Protesters say that they want to call attention to the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

City officials warned that there could be traffic and other delays to the Metrobus system and urged commuters to take Metro if possible.

The following bus services may be affected: 31, 32, 36, 38B, 42, 43, D5, D6, H1, L1, L2, all “S” line routes and all “X” line routes.

1:30 p.m. Georgetown prepares for protest march

Occupy DC and NoVa protesters plan to march to the Key Bridge Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Isaac Brooks)

The march is part of the nationwide “Get on the Bridge” movement, which marks the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.

Locally, Occupy DC protesters will march from McPherson Square to the Key Bridge, and then onto the bridge.

It is unclear exactly when the march will begin. lists the march from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. A Facebook invite said it begins at 3:30 p.m., a tweet said 4 p.m. and another posting mentions a rally at 4:30 p.m.

Compounding the confusion and related traffic issues is a simultaneous march planned by Occupy NoVa, from Ballston, down Clarendon Boulevard to the Key Bridge.

The group plans to meet at Welburn Plaza at 2 p.m. and meet the Occupy DC group on the Key Bridge around 5 p.m.

Dr. Gridlock suggests erring on the safe side and avoiding the area between McPherson Square and the Key Bridge after 2:30 p.m. and the area of Wilson and Clarendon boulevards after 3:30 p.m.

DDOT is urging drivers to avoid those areas and opt for alternate modes of transportation this afternoon whenever possible.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said Thursday that police are prepared to deal with protesters who break any city laws or attempt to block traffic.

”If it becomes a situation that is unmanageable, then we’ll take steps other than what we’ve taken thus far,” Gray said in an interview with NewsChannel 8. “We are going to make sure the laws of the District of Columbia are enforced.”

More about “Get on the Bridge”:

March could snarl traffic Thursday afternoon, evening (Dr. Gridlock)

Occupy NoVa plans march to Key Bridge (The State of NoVa)

Occupy DC: Occupying your Thursday commute? (The Buzz)

Mayor Gray says he will ‘make sure the laws ... are enforced(District of DeBonis)