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Officials: Portions of Detroit's Belle Isle to be closed to public during September auto event

DETROIT — Officials say portions of Detroit’s Belle Isle are expected to be closed to the public for several days in September for an event showcasing driverless vehicles.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report that plans initially called for the city-owned island park in the Detroit River to be closed except for Detroit Yacht Club members for the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, which runs Sept. 7-11.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Department of Transportation said it would work with the state Department of Natural Resources to keep certain areas of the 985-acre park open. MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi says the aim was to make safety a priority.

Public access to Belle Isle is restricted for some events, such as the annual Grand Prix. The DNR this year assumed island management.

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