Crews were busy Wednesday preparing for both President Donald Trump and China’s president to arrive in Palm Beach County on Thursday.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, all forms of travel are prohibited on South Ocean Blvd from the intersection of South County Road to Southern Boulevard. The travel restrictions extend eastward to the Atlantic Ocean.
CNN reports that President Xi Jinping will arrive at Palm Beach International Airport at 1:20 p.m. Thursday.
President Trump and Air Force One are expected to land at PBIA around 2:35 p.m.
On Wednesday, just a quick drive down A1A in Lantana, and it was pretty obvious someone important is coming to town.
You’ll see everything from welcome signs to protest signs. And you can’t miss the extra security.
“I noticed all the barricades that they put up," said John Ames, a South Palm Beach resident.
The security measures include a high metal fencing that now lines parts of the road near the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa. That’s the hotel where China’s president will be staying.
“I think that it’s very good,” said Carol Finiani, a Boynton Beach resident. “And I think that people in Florida should be proud.”
The high profile visit is already attracting some people, including curious bystanders, protesters and a handful of international journalists. However, for others its already a deterrent.
“Probably just try to avoid this all together,” said Ames, referring to the anticipated congestion.
On top of the anticipated traffic troubles in the usual spots on Palm Beach near Mar-a-Lago, this visit comes with a few extra closures.
Both Phipps Ocean Park and Kruesler Park will be closed Thursday and Friday.
Barry Freedman owns the Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. right next to Kruesler Park. While the closure and congestion might slow down business a little, Freedman says it shouldn't be too bad.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that heavy of a loss but I think it will be prohibitive a little bit for the customers, but they’ll all be back Monday,” said Freedman.