Washington, D.C., is locking down in the days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, with street and bridge closures dominating the city and “core areas” of the National Mall shutting down.
Virginia State Police are reportedly assisting U.S. Secret Service in shutting down bridges in the days ahead of the inauguration. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Democrat lawmakers — including Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) — made the announcement last week, adding that the inauguration ceremony will “see the strongest Capital-area security response in history.”
“We worked together to push for a response that balances protecting public safety in a manner commensurate with available intelligence about threats without going too far,” the politicians said.
“It is very important now that the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and its partner agencies communicate road and bridge closures swiftly and clearly in order to keep disruptions to a minimum,” they continued, adding they want the “transfer of power to be as peaceful as possible.”
Per the agreement, the Virginia State Police will “facilitate the closure of bridges and pedestrian thoroughfares including Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, Arlington Memorial Bridge, Interstate 395 Bridge, and 14th Street Bridge, beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 19, and ending at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 21, at 6:00 a.m.”
— Hannah Bleau 🌻 (@hannahbleau_) January 18, 2021
“To my knowledge, there have never been this many D.C. mainline bridges closed for such a long duration,” WTOP traffic reporter Dave Dildine said of the mass closures:
Memorial Bridge already closed. Tuesday/Wednesday closure of I-395 will likely put more traffic on the Beltway at the Wilson and Legion bridges. Key Bridge is not an original idea. https://t.co/bMtyqr8f4l
— Dave Dildine (@DildineWTOP) January 16, 2021
Per the Patch, street and bridge closures include:
- Constitution Ave (23rd Street to 17th Street) – Closed
- 23rd Street (Virginia Ave to Independence Ave) – Closed
- Henry Bacon Drive – Closed
- Lincoln Memorial Circle – Closed
- 22nd Street (C St. to Constitution Ave) – Closed
- 21st Street (Virginia Ave to Constitution Ave) – Closed
- 20th Street (C Street to Constitution Ave) – Closed
- 19th Street (Virginia Ave to Constitution Ave) – Closed
- 18th Street (Virginia Ave to Constitution Ave) – Closed
- Virginia Ave (18th Street to Constitution Ave) – Closed
- 17th Street (Constitution Ave to Independence Ave) – Closed
- Independence Ave (23rd St to 17th Street) – Closed
- Daniel French Drive – Closed
- Ohio Drive (Independence Ave to Inlet Bridge) – Closed
- West Basin Drive (Ohio Drive to Independence Ave) – Closed
- Rock Creek Parkway (Kennedy Center to Virginia Ave NW) – Closed
- Memorial Bridge – Closed
As Breitbart News detailed, the unprecedented shutdowns include the closure of the National Mall, which typically sees thousands flocking to witness the peaceful transfer of power. While permitted demonstrations will be allowed in “designated locations,” they will be “limited in number and participants will be screened prior to entry and escorted to their permitted location, in addition to other safety related requirements.”
Per the release:
The closure has been ordered to ensure safety and security within the area of the National Special Security Event designated by the Department of Homeland Security for the 59th presidential inauguration. The closure affects all National Park Service property, memorials and facilities in the areas roughly bounded by Constitution Avenue, NW to the north; Ohio Drive, SW to the south; the Potomac River to the west; and 3rd Street to the east. The area also generally includes President’s Park, including Lafayette Park, the Ellipse and the White House complex, as well as East and West Potomac parks, and National Park Service lands along Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We know this is very inconvenient for our residents and businesses,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said of the restrictions and closures, thanking them for their “cooperation and flexibility.”
“Clearly we are in uncharted waters,” she added.
In addition, thousands of National Guard troops are pouring into the city in the wake of the January 6 Capitol protest. However, the FBI is now expected to vet the 25,000 troops over concerns of an attack from the inside.
”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press.
President Donald Trump is expected to depart the city for Florida prior to the inauguration Wednesday.