Obama visit expected to impact traffic in downtown Tampa

Published Sept. 16, 2014

Downtown Tampa traffic to be affected

TAMPA — President Barack Obama is scheduled to fly into MacDill Air Force Base late today for a briefing at U.S. Central Command, but city officials say his visit will also affect traffic in and around the southern part of downtown Tampa.

Obama is first traveling today to Atlanta to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for an Ebola crisis briefing.

Then he flies to MacDill and spends the night in Tampa. Wednesday morning, he will receive a briefing at CentCom about the military campaign in Iraq and Syria, and thank service members before issuing a statement to reporters.

While he's here, downtown Tampa will see an impact on roads, at parking garages and at businesses, city officials said without providing further details.

Street closures and detours will be announced by programmable message boards.

City officials said downtown commuters should see about being flexible with their hours to leave work early today and come in either earlier or later than usual Wednesday morning.

All public and private downtown parking garages will be open, officials said, but tenants at some will be subject to additional security screenings. They should expect their routines to be changed as authorities shift entrances and exits. For example, today and Wednesday, tenants of the Bank of America garage at 101 E Kennedy Blvd. will have to enter off Ashley Drive.

To avoid traffic and security screenings, officials said, drivers should consider parking north of Kennedy Boulevard, perhaps at:

• Poe Garage, 802 N Ashley Drive; $1.20 an hour;

• Twiggs Street Garage, 901 E Twiggs St., $1.20 an hour;

• Royal Regional Lot, 1240 N Tampa St.; $2 flat fee.

Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer