WASHINGTON - Ahead of President Biden's State of the Union Address on Tuesday, authorities in D.C. are making preparations.
The United States Capitol Police announced Sunday that a fence has been mostly erected around the Capitol building. In a statement, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said that move was being made "out of an abundance of caution," in consultation with the Secret Service.
He added that his force's "mission to protect the United States Congress, the Capitol, and the legislative process remains unwavering."
Manger also announced several road closures. He says the closures are normal procedure ahead the State of the Union.
Beginning at 5:30 pm on March 1, the following streets will be closed to traffic:
- East Capitol Street between Second Street, NE/SE and First Street, NE/SE
- Constitution Avenue between Second Street, NE and Louisiana Avenue, NW
- D Street between Second Street, NE and First Street, NE
- First Street between Constitution Avenue, NE and Independence Avenue, SE
- New Jersey Avenue between C Street, NW and Constitution Avenue, NW
- First Street between Louisiana Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW
- Pennsylvania Avenue between First Street, NW and Third Street, NW
- Maryland Avenue between First Street, SW and Third Street, SW
- Independence Avenue between Washington Avenue, SW and Second Street, SE
Beginning at 7:00 pm on March 1, the following streets will be closed to traffic:
- Second Street from Constitution Avenue, NE to East Capitol Street, NE/SE
- First Street from Columbus Circle to D Street, NE
- Delaware Avenue from Columbus Circle to D Street, NE
- D Street from First Street, NE to Louisiana Avenue, NW
- Louisiana Avenue from C Street, NW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- First Street from C Street, NW to Louisiana Avenue, NW
- Constitution Avenue from Third Street, NW to Louisiana Avenue, NW
- Independence Avenue from Third Street, SW to Washington Avenue, SW
- Washington Avenue from Independence Avenue, SW to Second Street, SW
The decision to erect the fencing again, comes as officials in Washington prepare for trucker convoys that are planning protests against pandemic restrictions beginning this week. The Pentagon has already approved the deployment of 700 unarmed National Guard troops to be used to assist with traffic control during potential demonstrations. The D.C. National Guard also activated 400 Guard members Saturday to help.
This is related to several truck convoys expected to hit the D.C. region next week. The convoys originated in California, and are driving across the country to D.C.
Some groups plan to rally the same day as President Biden's first State of the Union Address. Other groups may also arrive in the area on Wednesday. The groups, which are modeling their protest after similar ones in Canada, are demanding an end to coronavirus mandates across the country.
There have no official participant numbers released, but reports say thousands of people are taking part in the protest.
Manger said Capitol Police have also requested additional assistance from outside law enforcement agencies before Tuesday’s address.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee has said his department is closely monitoring the shifting information and would be devoting additional policing in a rolling state of heightened alert over the next few weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.