Will President Trump arrive in Palm Beach at rush hour Friday?


On President Donald Trump’s previous four trips as president to his Mar-a-Lago Club, his arrival at Palm Beach International Airport has tied up traffic in the area, often for over an hour.

But with Air Force One slated to arrive in Palm Beach County sometime after 6 p.m. Friday, commuters could get some relief from the gridlock they’ve faced in the past.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed earlier this week in a briefing that Trump would travel to Palm Beach on Friday. But the timing of Air Force One’s landing is usually played close to the vest by the Secret Service.

Still, ahead of each visit, a hint is given in the form of temporary flight restrictions issued by the Federal Aviation Administration for the airspace over Palm Beach County. The restrictions issued Wednesday for Trump’s upcoming trip go into effect at 6 p.m. Friday, and end at 10:30 p.m. Sunday — but the president may leave the area anytime before that.

On past visits, Trump has arrived anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes after the restrictions go into effect, putting a possible arrival around 6:30 p.m.

Law enforcement officials shut down Southern Boulevard and adjoining north-south roads between PBIA and Mar-a-Lago from a few minutes before Air Force One lands until Trump’s motorcade has passed and the president is safely at his part-time Palm Beach home. The temporary closures lead to traffic tie-ups on Interstate 95, Australian Avenue, Dixie Highway and often Military Trail, as traffic trying to go east on Southern is held up.

Also Wednesday, the town of Palm Beach announced that the Secret Service-mandated road closure that goes into effect for the entirety of a Trump visit — South Ocean Boulevard is shut down from South County Road to Southern Boulevard — begins at 8 a.m. Friday and lasts through Sunday evening.

One of the reasons Trump’s departure from the White House may be later for this trip: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the White House on Friday, a meeting that was rescheduled from Tuesday because of the snow storm that hit the Northeast this week.

Palm Beach County, state and town of Palm Beach officials have worked together to help ease the pain of drivers stuck in traffic on the island or in the area of the motorcade. Some of the steps they’ve taken:

Traffic signals: Palm Beach County Engineer George Webb’s team has a traffic signal timing plan to help reduce the time drivers spend trying to get in and out of Palm Beach.

Electronic message signs: FDOT will program its electronic message boards on I-95 and Southern Boulevard to warn drivers of the road closure near Mar-a-Lago.

Traffic cameras: Both state and county personnel keep an eye on the slew of closed-circuit cameras positioned around the motorcade route to watch for gridlock, tweaking signal timing as needed.

Royal Park Bridge: This span, which connects Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm with Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach, serves as a primary route for people trying to get off the island after the Secret Service shuts down the road next to Mar-a-Lago. The Coast Guard restricts the bridge’s openings for several hours around Trump’s arrivals.

>> DONALD TRUMP IN PALM BEACH: Latest news, photos, videos



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Sheriff: Michigan deputy run down by car during police pursuit
Sheriff: Michigan deputy run down by car during police pursuit

A Michigan deputy with 22 years of experience was killed early Thursday morning when he was hit by a man driving a vehicle who was fleeing police, the Detroit Free Press reported. Deputy Eric Overall, 50, died when he was “deliberately ran down” after putting down “stop sticks” to slow down the suspect’s vehicle...
Trump in Palm Beach: Coast Guard visit, calls to troops, golf and dinner photos
Trump in Palm Beach: Coast Guard visit, calls to troops, golf and dinner photos

UPDATE, 11:55 p.m.: After Thanksgiving dinner, President Trump took to Twitter to retweet good wishes to Fox News host Sean Hannity and prominent Trump supporters Diamond and Silk. UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: Some photos have surfaced on social media of the Thanksgiving dinner Donald Trump and his family had at Mar-a-Lago. UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: The...
UPDATE: Missing West Palm man found safe
UPDATE: Missing West Palm man found safe

UPDATE, 11:45 p.m.: Pierre Borgelin has been found and is safe, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. ORIGINAL STORY: The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in finding a 93-year-old West Palm Beach man who is considered possibly endangered. Pierre Borgelin, 93, was last seen walking away from the 1900 block...
UPDATE: Suspicious packages at Royal Palm Walmart deemed harmless
UPDATE: Suspicious packages at Royal Palm Walmart deemed harmless

Police evacuated a Walmart Supercenter in Royal Palm Beach late Thursday after two suspicious packages were discovered on the premises, turning out hundreds of shoppers who had hoped to get an early jump on Black Friday sales, authorities said. The packages were determined to be harmless, and the Walmart was expected to reopen by 11 p.m., about two...
NEW: Florida teen, grandmother missing, may be endangered
NEW: Florida teen, grandmother missing, may be endangered

Authorities are searching for a 15-year-old Florida boy and his grandmother after they were last seen ijn Neptune Beach. Logan Mott, 15, and Kristina French, 53, may be in a silver 2015 Dodge Dart with a license plate number of DLLT42, according to authorities. Mott and French have been missing since at least Wednesday, WJAX reported. The boy&rsquo...
More Stories