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A block of Elm Street Downtown is closed permanently to cars

Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati is taking the next step toward big changes coming for its convention district downtown.

Starting Monday Elm Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets downtown will be permanently closed to vehicles.

In the short term, the closure will give crews room to work on renovations to the Duke Energy Convention Center. After that work is done, the street and the vacant parcel next to it will become a public plaza and park.

RELATED: New renderings unveiled for Duke Energy Convention Center revamp

Drivers downtown will be diverted onto Vine Street. Pedestrians will still be able to use Elm Street's east sidewalk to get between Fifth and Sixth Streets.

The curb lane on Fifth Street will also be closed until Sept. 30, and the adjacent sidewalk will close until the end of the year. The curb lane on Sixth Street will close Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, and Sixth Street will be totally closed to traffic sometime in October as crews demolish the skywalk there.

Nick has reported from a nuclear waste facility in the deserts of New Mexico, the White House press pool, a canoe on the Mill Creek, and even his desk one time.