Washington, DC Black Lives Matter plaza to be permanent, mayor says

Construction is expected to conclude by October

Construction in Washington, D.C. commenced Monday to make Black Lives Matter Plaza a permanent installation in the nation’s capital. 

A new street sign that reads "Black Lives Matter Plaza NW" can be seen at the intersection of H and 16th Street near the White House in Washington DC, on June 5, 2020. 

A new street sign that reads "Black Lives Matter Plaza NW" can be seen at the intersection of H and 16th Street near the White House in Washington DC, on June 5, 2020.  (AFP via Getty Images)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation announced the plans Friday, reminding the public to expect lane closures. 

Sixteenth Street NW between H and K Streets will be closed to through traffic while sidewalks will remain open to pedestrians and local access to businesses will be maintained, DDOT said. 

DDOT said the lane closure is necessary to install roadway pavers, bollards and the permanent Black Lives Matter mural. 

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Traffic controls will be in place to guide motorists and pedestrians safely around the work zone, DDOT said.  

People walk down 16th street after volunteers, with permission from the city, painted "Black Lives Matter" on the street near the White House on June 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. 

People walk down 16th street after volunteers, with permission from the city, painted "Black Lives Matter" on the street near the White House on June 05, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Getty Images)

Construction will occur between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and is expected to conclude by Oct. 1. 

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

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Mayor Bowser renamed a section of 16th Street "Black Lives Matter Plaza" in June 2020 amid protests that swept the nation in response to the police killing of George Floyd

An accompanying mural was painted over in May – sparking criticism from Black Lives Matter DC. 

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"@MayorBowser’s BLM performance has come to a close and set strike completed," the group wrote in a mocking Twitter post. "We now return to her regularly scheduled performances."