BILLINGS – Police will close off the two-block radius in downtown Billings surrounding the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel Thursday, where President Trump will be staying for his rally.
Chief Rich St. John said Wednesday at a press conference at City Hall that the closures would start at 2 p.m. from Montana Avenue and First Avenue North between North 26th Street and North 28th Street. North 27th Street between Montana Avenue and First Avenue North will also be closed.
Chief St. John had a clear message for people leading up to Thursday night’s event; pack your patience.
“Be patient. Listen to instructions, we will clear traffic as quickly as we can,” he said.
Highway 3 will also be impacted as soon as the motorcade takes off from the Billings airport to Metra Park. Chief St. John said all intersections along that route will be completely shut down for as long as 15 minutes.
“It’s going to be a little bit of a delay while the route is cleared and while that motorcade is moving,” said Chief St. John. “But they get from point A to point B pretty quickly and it’s not that big of a delay.”
However, there will be a more permanent impact to those traveling to and from the Heights as the Bench Connector from Main Street to Lake Elmo will be closed for the entire duration of the President Trump’s event at the Metra.
MAP- of the distruptions to the downtown pic.twitter.com/owum5QHOpx
— Andrea Lutz (@AndrearLutz) September 5, 2018
Foot traffic into the DoubleTree will be directed through the south entrance.
Detour routes are as follows:
- westbound First Avenue North rerouted north on North 25th St.
- eastbound Montana Avenue rerouted to North 28th Street.
- northbound 27th Street rerouted to North 28th Street at First Avenue South. Minnesota Avenue will also be an option.
- southbound 27th Street rerouted at Second Avenue North and Third Avenue North
Vehicles will be checked at North 27th Street and north of First Avenue North.
The Park 2 parking garage will be closed to the public allowing hotel guests and employees to park. Vehicles and people will be subject to search entering.
The Sky Bridge from Park 2 to the DoubleTree will be closed.
St. John said he expects 100 officers from Billings to be on duty and another 30 from the Montana Highway Patrol.
The rally is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at MetraPark, with doors opening at 4 p.m. Trump is expected to leave mid-morning Friday, according to St. John.
Watch St. John’s full press conference here: