It’s no secret or surprise that a presidential inauguration means changes on city streets, but the thing about D.C. is that a river runs through it, and accordingly the U.S. Coast Guard will be beefing up its presence as well.
“From Jan. 20 to the 22, during that 48-hour period, the waterways will be closed to all recreational boating traffic,” Coast Guard Cmdr. Kevin Kiefer said.
Security officials said there’s no specific maritime threat, nor is there one on land, according to the planners. But as always, they choose to err on the side of caution.
"The waterside security zone will help ensure the safety and security of the public the inauguration participants and the waterway users," Kiefer said.
The Coast Guard also will staff up personnel at their local headquarters, keeping a gull’s eye view of the Potomac. The security zone will stretch from just north of Key Bridge to just south of Ronald Reagan National Airport and up the Anacostia to the 11th Street Bridge.
Some commercial traffic will be allowed to ply the waters, a change from last year, but all amid a big wave of scrutiny.
"During past inaugurations we had a full shutdown for the entire two days of the inauguration,” Kiefer said. “This time we’re going to allow these vessels that operate, basically, water taxis and dinner boats, but they've received special permission, they've submitted their sail plans, they’ve been fully vetted and we have some higher security measures in place."
The National Guard’s presence will be beefed up, too. About 6,000 troops are coming to augment the D.C. Guard’s 1,500 airmen and soldiers.
“The National Guard will operate over a hundred traffic control and crowd management points extending from the Tidal Basin, up 23rd Street across K Street and Massachusetts Avenue to North Capitol Street,” D.C. Brigadier Gen. Arthur Hinaman said.