This MLK holiday, work has begun on memorial in DC

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction is finally under way on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall after 13 years of planning, fundraising and legal wrangling.

Workers began clearing the site on Dec. 28. They are moving some trees to another part of the mall, including a few cherry trees. By February, heavy construction will begin.

Executive architect Ed Jackson Jr. said Friday it will take seven months to drive 300 concrete piles into the ground to support the granite memorial plaza and towering statue of King.

After that, the memorial will begin to take shape. More than 200 of Washington’s famous cherry trees will be planted at the site between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

Dedication of the memorial is expected in the fall of 2011.