As of today, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue NW immediately north of the White House, between East Executive and West Executive avenues NW, is shut to pedestrians and cyclists. The Secret Service and the National Park Service (NPS) have expanded the existing closure on this side of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW to accommodate construction work on a new fence that the agencies say will boost security. The closure is set to last through March 2020.
Lafayette Park as well as the north sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Jackson Place NW, and Madison Place NW will stay open during the project, NPS said in a release Tuesday. The new White House fence, which has been under construction since last month, will be roughly 13 feet tall to guard against climbers and include technology designed to detect intruders. It will be about double the height of the current fence, which measures 6 feet and 6 inches tall. Federal officials approved the design in 2017 and awarded the construction contract in 2018.
The Secret Service and NPS say there will likely be more foot and bike traffic on the north sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue NW due to the closure and encourage visitors to view the White House from the Ellipse during construction. Officials note that they will continue to issue permits for demonstrations in Lafayette Park and White House tours will proceed as planned. The entire project around the 18-acre site entails some 3,500 feet of steel fencing.