CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Road closures are underway throughout downtown Charleston in preparation for the funeral service of State Sen. and Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
The funeral will take place at the TD Arena at 301 Meeting Street on the College of Charleston Campus at 11 a.m. Friday.
Hundreds gathered in line as early as 6 a.m. to gain access to the funeral service. Doors are set to open at 9 a.m., with capacity set at roughly 5,400.
The following roads and areas will be closed at 6 a.m. on Friday:
- Meeting Street from Calhoun Street to Wentworth Street
- George Street from King Street to Meeting Street
From King Street to Meeting Street, the following roads are also closed:
- Society Street
- George Street
- Burns Lane
All parking in this area is being controlled and restricted.
The following additional roads and areas will be closed at 7 a.m. on Friday:
- Meeting Street from John Street to Calhoun Street
- Hutson Street from King Street to Meeting Street
- Charlotte Street from Elizabeth Street to Meeting Street
- Henrietta Street from Elizabeth Street to Meeting Street
- Calhoun Street from Elizabeth Street to Meeting Street
- Calhoun Street from King Street to Meeting Street
The following additional roads and areas will be closed at Noon on Friday:
- Calhoun Street from East Bay Street to King Street
- George Street from East Bay Street to King Street
- Laurens Street at East Bay Street
- Society Street from East Bay Street to King Street
Public parking for the funeral will be located at the S.C. Ports Authority at the corner of Concord Street and Laurens Street. The S.C. Aquarium Parking Garage at Liberty Square, the Gaillard Auditorium Parking Garage at 2 George Street, the Francis Marion Hotel Parking Garage at 387 King Street and the Visitor's Center Parking Garage at 63 Mary Street will also be available. Parking is free at these garages.
Shuttles will operate between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. or until the TD Arena is full. The shuttles will operate after the funeral until all passengers are transported back to the S.C. Aquarium Parking Garage and the S.C. Ports Authority parking lot.
No large bags or carry-ons will be allowed on the shuttles or in the TD Arena.
Shuttles from the S.C. Aquarium Parking Garage and Ports Authority parking lot will operate on a five-to-ten minute increment, traffic conditions permitting. Drop off for passengers being transported by shuttle to the TD Arena will be at Calhoun Street, between King and Meeting Street. Pick-up of passengers after the ceremony will be at the same location.
Authorities say space is limited so attendees should plan accordingly. The TD Arena seats approximately 5,400 people. Priority seating will be reserved for family members, AME Church members and dignitaries. The remaining seats are open to the public and will be at a first come, first serve basis.
Public gathering will not be allowed outside the TD Arena after the seating capacity is reached due to this being a restricted and secured area.
Roads will reopen as soon as possible after the funeral, according to Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis. However, there is no clear estimate of what time that will be.