As President Joe Biden prepares for his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night, security has tightened in and around the U.S. Capitol.
As a run-up to the 9 p.m. address — which is designated as a National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security — the Secret Service and Capitol Police have prepared an extensive safety plan that includes restricting certain areas and closing streets in the District.
The plan includes cooperation from the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Park Police.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Capitol Building is closed to the public. Access to the U.S. Capitol Building and Capitol Square will be restricted to only those with event credentials and authorized pedestrians beginning at 5 p.m.
Roughly only 200 people will be allowed in the Chambers, a far cry from the 1,100 capacity. Far fewer than half of the 535 members of Congress will attend because of the restrictions.
Pedestrian and vehicle access to the Capitol grounds will be restricted to only those with congressional IDs or those with event credentials beginning at 7 p.m.
No vehicles will be allowed within the Capitol grounds beginning at 7 p.m., except for those displaying a current congressional parking sticker with at least one occupant of the vehicle carrying a valid congressional ID and/or a USCP special event placard and credential.
Capitol Police will put the following street closures into effect beginning at 7 p.m. Access to the perimeter will be restricted to those bearing proper Capitol Police authorization and credentials. These restrictions will be lifted upon the conclusion of the event:
• Pennsylvania Ave. NW, from Third Street NW to First Street NW
• Constitution Ave. NW, from Louisiana Ave. NW to Second Street NE
• First Street NW, from Louisiana Ave. NW to Washington Ave. SE
• New Jersey Ave. NW, from Louisiana Ave. NW to Constitution Ave. NW
• D Street NE, from Second Street NE to Louisiana Ave. NE
• Delaware Ave. NE, from Columbus Circle NE to Constitution Ave. NE
• First Street NE, from Columbus Circle NE to C Street SW
• C Street NE, from Second Street NE to Delaware Ave. NE
• Maryland Ave. NE, from Constitution Ave. NE to First Street NE
• Second Street NE, from Constitution Ave. NE to East Capitol Street NE
• East Capitol Street from Second Street NE to First Street NE
• Independence Ave. from Second Street SE to Washington Ave. SW
• C Street SW, from Washington Ave. SW to First Street SE
• Delaware Ave. SW, from Washington Ave. SW to C Street SW
• South Capitol Street from D Street SE to Independence Ave. SE
• New Jersey Ave. SE, from D Street SE to Independence Ave. SE
• Maryland Ave. SW, from Third Street SW to First Street SW