New Security Plans for U.S. Commerce Dept. Could Include Barriers on Pennsylvania Avenue

Security system could also include a cable rail system incorporated into stone-clad walls

Friday, Feb 8, 2013  |  Updated 8:02 AM EDT
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One of the most prominent buildings in the nation's capital is going to get a security upgrade for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Tom Sherwood

One of the most prominent buildings in the nation's capital is going to get a security upgrade for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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The National Capital Planning Commission is reviewing plans to add new security elements around the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Commerce in the District.

The federal government has submitted plans to add security elements along the perimeter of the building. It would include a cable rail system incorporated into stone-clad walls, hardened light posts and bollards near building entrances. It would also add security elements in public space.

Planning officials commented Thursday that it's against the commission's policy to place security elements in the public space around a building.

But the commission agreed to a partial exemption if the government shows it would provide a public benefit. That could include integrating security barriers into landscaping and improving the pedestrian experience along Pennsylvania Avenue.

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