Pence visit could be challenge for Austin traffic Wednesday


Pence and his wife are to arrive at ABIA just before noon, and make Central Austin stops until early evening.

Pence will go to the DPS on North Lamar first while his wife attends an event at Dell Children’s Hospital.

The vice president will then speak to Republican governors downtown before leaving ABIA at 6:40 p.m.

With Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, winging their way to Austin and a series of stops in the city’s core, get ready for a day of problematic traffic.

Pence, who will get a briefing on Hurricane Harvey efforts and then speak to the Republican Governors Association conference, is scheduled to arrive on Air Force Two at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 11:55 p.m. The airport has no scheduled runway or ramp closures in conjunction with the vice president’s visit, airport spokesman Derick Hackett said.

His first stop in town, at 12:40 p.m., is at the Texas Department of Public Safety headquarters on North Lamar and Koenig Lane. He’ll be joined at that hurricane briefing by Gov. Greg Abbott, Energy Secretary and former Texas governor Rick Perry and Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Karen Pence, meanwhile, will be breaking off from the airport motorcade to visit Ascension’s Dell Children’s Medical Center at Mueller. She’ll learn about an art therapy program there and participate in a round-table discussion. That event is to start about 12:30 p.m.

Given those two destinations, it is likely that Interstate 35 will be involved in the trip. But the White House, for security reasons typical of presidential and vice presidential travel, has not released what streets or highways the Pence motorcade will use during the day.

Vice presidential motorcades, like those of a president, normally involve so-called “rolling closures” of the road ahead on the route, and then reopening of the road after the motorcade passes.

The vice president and his wife will reconnect back downtown in time for Pence to speak to his former gubernatorial colleagues (he was Indiana’s governor until January) at 3:15 p.m. That appearance is at the JW Marriott hotel at Congress Avenue and Second Street.

The entourage, after other activities that were not released by the White House, will return to the airport on the back shoulder of evening rush hour. The party is scheduled to take off at 6:40 p.m. for the return to Washington.

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