RNC Security Measures Set to Lock Down Parts of Tampa

Access to downtown Tampa and the surrounding areas will be difficult from Aug. 25-31.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have collaborated and released a rough outline of their plan for security measures to be taken during the Republican National Convention.

The plan covers air, land and sea and involves the United States Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Coast Guard and every state and local law enforcement agency. Areas surrounding the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Tampa Convention Center are essentially open only to those with an approved convention credential.

Harbour Island residents will experience trouble getting home and are told to expect delays in getting across the Beneficial Bridge, the only traffic vein that will be left open to the island. They will also be subject to security screenings during event hours.

The plan involves a number of road closures which inlcudes a heavily travelled section of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway between 50th Street and Willow Avenue. The expressways elevated lanes will remain open.

For downtown Tampa, essentially all streets will be closed to traffic from Whiting Street to the south while others will have their traffic patterns significantly altered.

On street parking will be prohibited on Florida Avenue, Tampa Street, Cass Street and Jefferson Street almost anywhere within the downtown area south of 275.

Pedestrian traffic will also be regulated beginning on the evening of Aug. 25 when authorities close off everything south of the north sidewalk on Brorein Street to the Channleside walkway of Harbour Island. Both the Platt Street and Brorein Street bridges are essentially closed to all traffic.

The interstate will not experience much change with the exception of traffic delays corresponding with the arrival of motorcades.

Access to Tampa General Hospital will be available via several available detours. For a list of those as well as additional parking restrictions and possible road closures, visit the city's website.

Strict regulations will be placed on aircrafts flying within a 30 mile nautical ring and boaters will be screened and escorted in the Federal Security Zone which runs from Hookers Point south of Davis Island to Kennedy Blvd to the east and the Ybor City dry docks to the west. Boaters will not be allowed to stop at any point while in the zone.

Public transit routes will also be altered with the Teco Line Streetcar system experiencing interuptions around the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the convention center. A dozen HART bus routes and the In-Town Trolley route will be changed according to the Tampa Tribune. For more information on those changes, visit HART's website.

To view the plan in its entirety courtesy of the Tribune, click here.

Are you worried about traffic during the convention? Tell us about it in the comments section.


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