- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Construction of a new fence near the north side of the White House will cause the adjacent part of Pennsylvania Avenue to be closed to the public for the next several months, the U.S. National Park Service said Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Avenue between West Executive Avenue and East Executive Avenue in Northwest will be closed due to construction starting Wednesday, the NPS said in a news release.

The closure is expected to last through March 2020, according to the park service.

Closed to vehicular traffic since 1995, the small stretch of roadway is popular among sightseers given its proximity to the president’s residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The spot is also popular among trespassers, however, whose antics prompted the U.S. Secret Service to recommend construction of the new fence to replace the existing one.

Designed with “anti-climb and intrusion detection technology,” the NPS said the new, roughly 13-foot-tall fence will be nearly double the height of the current 6.5-foot fence once it’s built.

The north side of the street’s sidewalk and adjacent Lafayette Park will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists during construction of the fence, the NPS said. Visitors looking to view the White House from a less obscured angle are being told by the agency to try its south side near the Ellipse.

Meanwhile, another local landmark will soon open for the first time in years. The NPS said last week that the Washington Monument will open next month for the first time since August 2016, when the 555-foot-tall building was indefinitely closed for repairs to its elevator system.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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