Billy Graham Pkwy shuts down ahead of funeral for Rev. Billy Graham

- A section of Billy Graham Pkwy was shut down at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday ahead of the funeral for the late Reverend which will be held on Friday, March 2

The closure goes from S. Tryon St. all the way past the entrance to the Billy Graham Library to Tyvola Rd.

The closure was prompted by heightened security and that's affecting people who work and travel through this area. 

“It's just something we do as an American society Is to honor those who have been exceptional people,” said Richard Cooke who owns a nearby business that will be affected by the Rev. Billy Graham’s funeral.

For Cooke it's no big deal to close his business Friday for the funeral of Reverend Billy Graham, a man who meant so much to charlotte and to the world. 

“I think Billy Graham is probably the greatest evangelist and preacher for the last 100 years and I think he should be honored properly,” Cooke said. 

Cooke is having his employees at a tax management company off S. Tryon St. work from home Friday. 

2,300 people were invited to the service. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence along with other dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. 

The closure is expected to last until mid-afternoon on Friday. 

“It's not an inconvenience for us, it needs to be done and it needs to be done properly,” said Cooke. 

Every single CMPD officer will be working Friday, not only for the funeral but for the CIAA tournament already underway in uptown.

“We are fortunate enough that these two events do not cross paths environmentally or physically, so we believe we are able to deal with the traffic and the event for Billy graham's funeral and then move some staffing back over to the downtown area where that evening we will see an increase in crowds for the CIAA,” said CMPD spokesperson Rob Tufano. 

And just to free up some more law enforcement officers, most of the court sessions scheduled at the Mecklenburg county courthouse Friday have been canceled.

In addition to the road closure, traffic is expected to be backed up while people take other routes. 

Billy Graham Pkwy is one of the major roads used to access the airport, and because of that the city has recommended these alternative routes: 

Take I-85, exit 32 for Little Rock Rd., or take I-485, exit 9 for Wilkinson Blvd. 

The funeral starts at noon and is expected to last for ninety minutes. Even though the funeral is private you can still watch online at fox46charlotte.com, or on our Facebook page.

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