President Barack Obama returns to Charlotte Friday to campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which means traffic problems during evening rush hour.
That includes a likelihood of northbound Interstate 85 or Interstate 77 being closed as the president travels from Charlotte’s N.C. Air National Guard Base to his intended speaking engagement at PNC Music Pavilion.
Obama was originally set to speak about 6 p.m. Friday at the pavilion, but his arrival time may be closer to 6:45 p.m.
In that case, interstate rush hour travelers can breathe a sigh of relief. But we all know how the federal government works, so count on nothing good.
The pavilion is located at 707 Pavilion Boulevard in north Charlotte and is bordered by Interstate 485, North Tryon Street and University City Boulevard. Doors will open at 4 p.m.
Motorists should consider avoiding that area, including University City Boulevard, northern Interstate 485 and North Tryon Street between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The President is expected to depart Charlotte at 9 p.m., via Air Force One.
His travel routes in Charlotte are a secret, of course, but we’ll assume he’ll take Interstate 85, which means motorists should expect law enforcement cars to be parked at all interstate ramps along the way.
It’s also likely traffic will be snarled around the airport when he first arrives and then returns to depart at 9 p.m.