Pennsylvania Avenue outside White House to close for months for fence construction

Pennsylvania Avenue outside White House to close for months for fence construction

The stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House will be closed to pedestrians through March 2020 during construction of a new fence outside the building, the National Park Service announced Tuesday.

The closure will begin Wednesday and stretch from West Executive Avenue to East Executive Avenue, the agency said, as heavy machinery and large vehicles are brought in for work on the fence.

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The north sidewalk along Pennsylvania Avenue on the far side of the street from the White House and nearby Lafayette Park will remain open.

The National Park Service said it will continue to issue permits for demonstrations at Lafayette Park. Protesters often gather outside the White House fence to rally support for a cause or speak out against the Trump administration.

The closure comes as work ramps up on improving security features outside the North Lawn of the White House. Construction is expected to continue around the White House grounds into 2021, the National Park Service said.

The roughly 3,500-foot fence that surrounds the White House grounds currently stands at about eight feet high. The new structure will measure at more than 13 feet high. The plans have been in development for a few years, and work began earlier this summer.