Lee monument: removal plan, road closures, and how to watch

Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WRIC) — Protective fencing is going up around the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue tonight, as the Commonwealth’s largest Confederate statue is set to come down Wednesday.

There were several onlookers with cameras around the area on Tuesday. For some, it was the last chance to grab a photo of the Lee statue standing 6 stories tall over Richmond.  The statue has been there since 1890 and is set to come down at about 9 a.m. tomorrow.

“I am truly for that statue coming down,” said Richmonder John Cote.

While Cote is all for the removal, the parking restrictions and street closures are making the move he booked a month ago stressful.

“It seems like they sectioned off this street and made it pretty hard for me to move tomorrow,” he said.

Tuesday afternoon he cornered off a spot for his movers and was racing against the clock to get the move done by evening.

No parking signs near the Robert E. Lee Monument the Tuesday before it is removed. (Photo: 8News)

“I tried to call the police to change the time, they said that’s not possible,” Cote said.

The no parking signs and street closures in and around the monument went into effect at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

For those who want to watch the removal in person, a public viewing area opens at 8 a.m. It is located in a median across from the monument just off Stuart circle. Space is limited to a first-come-first-served basis.

If you can’t make it out to the monument, you can watch a live stream of the removal with 8News.

Berkeley Yonce with Black Lives Matter Occupiers says he will be there to watch it live and that he wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Absolutely, I will be out here cheering it on,” he said. “I think there is going to be a lot of people out here cheering it on.”

The Lee statue weighs more than 12 tons and will be lifted off its granite pedestal in full. It will then be dissembled after that for moving purposes. Sources tell 8News the removal process is expected to be wrapped up by 10 or 11 a.m.

The 40-foot pedestal will remain there for now, with its final destination to be determined by a community-driven event to re-imagine Monument Avenue.

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