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Here are the road closures to expect when U.S. President Biden visits Ottawa

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U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady, will be visiting Ottawa Thursday and Friday to meet with the governor general and the prime minister and to address Parliament.

A large security apparatus will accompany the president on his visit, and residents can expect a heavy police presence and the sight of military aircraft and drones around the capital.

American flags were installed in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday ahead of the president's visit. Crews have installed bike racks and other fencing near Parliament Hill, and police could be seen doing run-throughs of motorcade movements.

The city of Ottawa has released its list of road closures for the presidential motorcade and visit, starting Thursday when Biden arrives and ending Friday night after his departure.

Biden is expected to meet with Governor General Mary Simon at the Ottawa Airport around 6:25 p.m. Thursday, according to the Governor General's Office.

"The morning commute on Thursday, March 23 is not expected to be impacted, however, for security reasons, the exact details and timing of road closures and other impacts to City services may be communicated at the last minute," the city says. "We appreciate your patience and understanding as this visit takes place."

ROAD CLOSURES

The city says the following roads will be fully closed from 4 p.m. Thursday until 11 p.m. Friday:

  • Wellington Street, between Metcalfe Street and Mackenzie Avenue
  • Rideau Street, between Mackenzie Avenue and Dalhousie Street
  • Elgin Street, between Queen and Wellington streets
  • Mackenzie Avenue, between Murray and Rideau streets
  • Colonel By Drive, between Daly Avenue and Rideau Street
  • Sussex Drive, between Rideau Street and George Street

Road closures in downtown Ottawa for the presidential visit March 23 and 24, 2023. (City of Ottawa)

TEMPORARY ROLLING ROAD CLOSURES

There will also be temporary rolling road closures throughout the president's time in Ottawa. The city warns some of these closures may last several hours.

Thursday:

  • Airport Parkway, between the Ottawa International Airport and Bronson Avenue
  • Bronson Avenue, between Findlay Avenue and Airport Parkway
  • Colonel By Drive, between Hog’s Back Road and Daly Avenue
  • Sussex Drive, between George Street and Princess Drive

Friday:

  • Wellington Street (westbound), between Kent and Metcalfe streets
  • Wellington Street (eastbound), between Lyon and Metcalfe streets
  • Metcalfe Street, between Queen and Wellington streets
  • O’Connor Street, between Queen and Wellington streets
  • Bank Street, between Queen and Wellington streets
  • Sussex Drive, between Rideau Street and Princess Avenue
  • Princess Drive, between Sir George-Étienne Parkway and Sussex Drive
  • Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway, between Bearbrook Road and Princess Drive
  • Aviation Parkway, north of Montreal Road
  • Airport Parkway, between the Ottawa International Airport and Bronson Avenue
  • Bronson Avenue, between Holmwood Avenue and Airport Parkway
  • Colonel By Drive, between Hog’s Back Road and Daly Avenue
  • Sussex Drive, between George Street and Princess Drive

In addition, the Macdonald-Cartier and Alexandra bridges will have intermittent and temporary closures in both directions for all vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic during movement of the motorcade. The Chaudière bridge is closed due to rehabilitation work. The Portage bridge remains open in both directions.

The city suggests people avoid unnecessary travel in the affected areas while Biden is in town and to expect a wait if you must travel. Businesses in the area are advised to let their customers know of any changes to hours or any closures via social media or other direct communications.

O-Train Line 1 service will operate as regularly scheduled. Some OC Transpo bus routes and Para Transpo service will experience travel delays due to road closures and various routes will experience detours during select time periods. Bus service will be detoured from Rideau Street to Mackenzie King Bridge on Thursday and Friday.

The city does not expect the presidential visit to affect waste collection on either Thursday or Friday.

This is Biden's first visit to Canada since taking office in 2021. 

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