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Delays, Road Closures Expected During Vice President's Visit

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John speaks to reporters at press conference
Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John held a press conference to cover details of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Billings

Sections of Billings will be shut down Wednesday during a visit from Vice President Mike Pence to discuss the methamphetamine epidemic with Sen. Steve Daines.

Law enforcement will secure streets as the vice presidential motorcade passes through the city.

Billings police Chief Rich St. John said BPD will work with the Yellowstone County sheriff’s office, the Montana Highway Patrol, Billings Logan International Airport, and Montana State University Billings officers.

“So, we’re taking any and all staffing that we can to help out with this,” said St. John. “And the whole goal is to make sure that this visit goes without incident and, in order to do that, you have to apply a lot of resources, and we’re in a position to do that.”

At a press conference Tuesday, St. John said the entire block of the DoubleTree hotel will be closed to vehicles from 9 a.m. Wednesday through mid-morning Thursday.

He said the vice president will arrive at the airport Wednesday at about noon and head to Riverstone Health Clinic via Highway 3, which will be closed as the motorcade passes through.

St. John said there will also be brief closures at the Riverstone Health Clinic area: mainly along 1st Avenue South between 25th and 27th Streets.

Following the event at Riverstone, the motorcade will drive to the Willow House sober womens’ group home on the north side and then to an event on the west end. Sometime in mid-afternoon on Wednesday, the vice president will return to the Doubletree downtown.

St. John said there will be a checkpoint for people working in the area at north 27th and Montana Ave, as well as access to the Park 2 garage for workers or guests of the Doubletree. He cautioned there will be delays due to screening time, and he expects traffic stops not to exceed 10 to 15 minutes.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.