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Last Minute Preparations Underway for President's Trip

11:08 PM, Aug 21, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY - Wednesday, grounds crews at UB were busy getting the campus spruced up for President Obama's visit.

"It's kind of the calm before the storm right now," says UB's John DellaContrada.

While our cameras are not allowed to shoot video of them inside, the Secret Service and White House advance teams are on campus setting everything up for the President's speech on higher education.

"There is a lot of excitement and, of course, we're going through our usual University business. Moving a lot of students in this week, so there's a lot of excitement about the first week of classes, too," adds DellaContrada.

And, for those of us who don't have a ticket, the Presidential visit may still impact our day.

With Air Force One expected to land at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport around 10:30, a no fly zone will be established so that no planes can take off and no planes can land at the airport.

You can expect minimal flight delays, and some traffic tie-ups, as streets are blocked off for the President's bus.

Once inside the terminal, expect business as usual.

"People shouldn't have to expect to go through any more security. You may see an additional police car. You may see a couple extra police officers in the vicinity, but by and large, business will be as normal tomorrow as it is today as an example," says NFTA's Doug Hartmayer.

And, if you just want to try to get a glimpse of Air Force One, good luck.

"You'll be able to see it fly into the airport, but exactly how close they will let people park and people stand, I'm not clear on that and that's certainly up to the Secret Service to set those parameters," Hartmayer says.

Once the President finishes his speech at UB, he will take the bus all the way to Henninger High School in Syracuse on the Thruway.

State Police tell us you can expect closures from late morning to early afternoon in our area.

There are twelve exits between here and Syracuse, and they will likely all be impacted during the 2 hour and 15 minute trip. As the motorcade goes through each exit, traffic will be stopped from getting on the Thruway.

Since the President's schedule is fluid, State Police say be ready for last minute changes in travel plans.

Police will try to get traffic moving as soon as they can, and they think closures will last less than an hour.

We still do not know whether the President will stop for lunch in Buffalo, or if he will grab it on his way to Syracuse where he is scheduled to speak Thursday night.

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