BILLINGS, Mont. - The Billings Police Department announced the road closures and procedures that will take place while the Vice President is in town on Wednesday.
Road closures will be along all intersections the Vice President's motorcade transits through, as well as a full closure to vehicles from 9 a.m. on Wednesday to 9 a.m. on Thursday, in the block surrounding the Double Tree Hotel downtown.
"This is a major disruption of downtown traffic and I want to thank everyone in advance for patience and understanding these actions are necessary to ensure the safety of not only our Vice President but our citizens as well," said Billings Police Chief, Rich St. John.
The Vice President is scheduled to arrive at the airport at Noon on Wednesday. After his arrival, the Vice President's motorcade will depart to RiverStone Health via Hwy 3 and a downtown route.
For security reasons, Billings Police cannot give exact route locations. The same road closure procedures will apply for all of the Vice President's visits around town.
According to Chief St. John, every intersection along the Vice President's route will be shut down and held by uniformed officers and/or barricades. The motorcade will not proceed until the route is completely clear of cars. Chief St. John estimates delays shouldn't last longer than 15 minutes.
While the Vice President is at RiverStone Health at approximately 1 PM, 1st Ave. S from S 25th St. to S 27th St. will be temporarily closed. Parts of S 26th St. from Minnesota to 2nd Ave S will also be closed until the Vice President finishes his visit.
From 9 AM Wednesday to 9 AM Thursday, the block around the Double Tree Hotel, specifically 1st Ave N from 26th to 27th St and Montana Ave from 26th to 27th and 26th St and 27 St in that area will be closed to vehicle traffic.
The area will be open to pedestrians and cyclists during that time. There will be a checkpoint for people with business in that area or guests of the Double Tree Hotel.
"For people with business in the area there's a checkpoint at North 27th and Montana. There will be access to Park Two garage for people with business in the area, or guests at the Double Tree. If you're part of those groups, you can expect a delay for getting into the garage for all vehicles will be screened before being allowed to enter," said Chief St. John.
The City of Billings needs all vehicles on the roof of Park Two Garage and Empire Garage removed by 8 AM Wednesday.
Parking will not be permitted on the roof levels of both parking garages until Thursday at 10 AM.
Chief St. John said if at anytime you find yourself confused, or not where you should be, listen and follow the directions of law enforcement. He also asks for patience while waiting at intersections.
The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, Montana Highway Patrol, the airport, and MSUB officers are assisting BPD with the Vice President's visit.
"The whole goal is to make sure this visit goes without incident so you have to apply a lot of resources and we're in position to do that," said Chief St. John.
The road closures are sure to affect businesses downtown. We spoke with business owners in the area, and many compared these closures to when President Trump visited Billings.
Business owners said although roads are closed to vehicles, they do expect to see a lot of people coming in by foot after waiting to see the motorcade.