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Thousands expected for Delaware State Police funeral

 (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Drivers in and around the Wilmington area should expect major delays as police from around the country arrive to pay their respects to Cpl. Stephen Ballard at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

I-95 northbound will close twice Friday morning as a massive gathering of police vehicles travel from their staging point at the Christiana Mall to the Wilmington Riverfront. The highway will first close around 6 a.m. as the first round of police vehicles travels about nine miles up 95 to Wilmington. A second closure will occur around 8 a.m.

Drivers on Rt. 1 could also see delays after 5:30 a.m. as a caravan of police vehicles that are staging at the Dover Mall depart to meet up with gathered officers in Christiana. While Rt. 1 won’t be closed, northbound drivers should expect slow going around that time.

In Wilmington, no roads will be closed, but lanes around the Riverfront will be blocked as the procession of vehicle arrives.

Following the funeral service, the procession will leave the Chase Center and head down Justison St., making a right on Martin Luther King Blvd., another right on S. Market St., and on to Rt. 13 before arriving at the Gracelawn Memorial Cemetery. Roads will be blocked during the processional which will impact Rt. 13 both southbound and northbound as the cars cross the highway to get to the cemetery.

As many as 2,000 officers are expected to attend the funeral, about 700 of those from out of state. The majority of Delaware State Police will be in attendance. The agency has made coverage arrangements with other departments in the state to respond to calls that DSP would normally handle.

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