President Obama visit expected to cause traffic delays in Palm Beach County

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Residents of central Palm Beach County should expect traffic delays during Thursday evening and Friday morning's rush hours while President Obama makes some campaign stops in suburban West Palm Beach and Manalapan.

Air Force One will land at Galaxy Air in West Palm Beach at 5:30 p.m. and the president is expected to head directly to Century Village in suburban West Palm Beach as part of a two-day state campaign trip. He plans on campaigning in Jacksonville earlier in the day.

Obama is scheduled to appear at the main clubhouse at Century Village shortly after 6 p.m. A limited number of tickets for the event were to be distributed to residents earlier this week.

Commuters in Palm Beach County should expect delays around that time on streets including Haverhill Road and Okeechobee Boulevard. Obama is not expected to be traveling on Interstate 95 Thursday evening.

After staying at The Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan overnight, Obama is expected to leave from Palm Beach International Airport about 9:30 a.m. Friday. The presidential motorcade likely will make its way down I-95 from Manalapan to the airport.

All road closures are said to be "rolling," similar to traffic delays during a funeral procession.

After his visit in Palm Beach County, Obama will continue his campaigning in Fort Myers and Orlando.

Obama, who won Florida with 51 percent of the vote in 2008, has been locked in a tight race with Republican Mitt Romney for the state's 29 electoral votes heading into November's national election. But even some Florida polls that give Obama a slight edge have included underwater job approval numbers for the president and a persistent dislike for the federal health care law that has been his signature domestic policy achievement.

As for campaigning and fund-raising in Palm Beach County, both the president and his opponent have been busy lately.

Romney was in town twice in the past four months. In April, he held a $50,000-a-head dinner at the Palm Beach home of investor Gerald Jordan and his wife, Darlene. In May, Romney attended an evening reception at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton and a $50,000-a-plate dinner at private equity mogul Marc Leder's Boca Raton home.

Obama's most recent visit was in April when he spoke at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton during a day of South Florida campaign fund-raising stops.

He was the second sitting president to visit FAU since Lyndon Johnson spoke at the university's dedication in 1964.

After his visit at FAU, Obama attended a $10,000-a-person fund-raising lunch at the Palm Beach Gardens home of Paula and Hansel Tookes.

First lady Michelle Obama attended a fundraiser in January at the Palm Beach home of Howard and Michele Kessler.

Vice President Joe Biden will be addressing the National Association of Police Officials Monday at The Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan.

Staff writer George Bennett contributed to this story.


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