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Agencies announce implementation timeline for enhanced temporary security for White House complex
Washington, D.C., May 8 – The United States Secret Service (USSS) and National Park Service (NPS) have begun implementing a series of new, temporary security enhancements and aesthetic improvements for the White House complex, according to the agencies. These temporary measures are meant to satisfy security needs while a long-term solution is designed and implemented.
After the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11, 2001 attacks, the USSS implemented closures and increased security measures around the White House, including closing E Street,
NW and the Ellipse to public vehicle access. Many of these security features used a combination of concrete “Jersey” barriers, planters, and fencing.
The new, temporary security measures to E Street, NW and the Ellipse provide enhanced protection for the White House, while improving the aesthetics at checkpoints. The temporary design solution for the White House complex fence is meant to improve security, while minimizing visual impacts and respecting the significance of the White House.
Crews have begun rearranging existing officer booths on E Street, installing a new officer booth at the Constitution Avenue entrance to the Ellipse, and updating the vehicle checkpoints by replacing concrete barriers with mobile steel plate barriers which can be raised and lowered. These improvements are expected to be complete in early July.
A removable anti-climb feature consisting of sharp metal points will be installed on the top of the White House fence. The feature is meant to deter and inhibit individuals who may attempt to climb over the fence. Work is expected to begin in early July and take about four weeks. This temporary measure will be in place until a long-term solution is implemented.
Concurrently, the USSS and NPS are working with other federal agencies to develop a long-term design solution for the White House complex perimeter fence. Agencies have begun to review preliminary design concepts and will select a final design later this summer. The final design will be submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) in the fall of 2015 for review and approval. Construction is expected to begin in 2016.
The NPS and USSS are also moving forward with the President’s Park South Environmental Assessment (EA), which will address long-term security for the White House complex outside of the fence. The EA is expected to be completed by early 2016. Construction for these long-term measures should begin mid-2017.