Local News

Motorists Beware: President Clinton Visiting Triangle

Posted July 28, 1998

— President Clinton landed at RDU at 5:50 p.m., and proceeded to the state Fairgrounds. Local roads were cleared for the presidential motorcade, stranding many motorists who were traveling in West Raleigh and the RTP.

Local law enforcement officials say alltraffic in the areawill come to a halt.

Airport officials say air traffic returned to normal after Air Force One landed. The entire air pattern was cleared out for 12 miles until the president landed. However, some motorists still encountered on some gridlock on the roads.

"That's the only concern that we have," RDU spokesperson Teresa Damiano said. "People in the late afternoon to early evening coming and going around the airport should leave themselves extra time to negotiate vehicle traffic."

Airport officials advised air travelers to arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight, and to avoid I-40 and any of the roads around the Fairgrounds.

Before Clinton landed, the state Highway Patrol was tight-lipped on the route the president's motorcade would take from RDU to the Fairgrounds.

"If you do get in the area and you get hung up in some of the congestion, be patient with us," Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Winstead said. "We'll get traffic moving again as soon as we can."

The last time the president visited Raleigh, in March 1997, the convoy proceeded down I-40 with about 150 law officers stationed along the route, closing off streets, bridges and ramps all along the way.

The Highway Patrol suggested avoiding the area between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday to help alleviate rush-hour congestion.

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