A presidential visit to Chattanooga is far from ordinary-but most residents won’t have their lives disrupted when President Barack Obama makes his inaugural trip to the Scenic City today.
Besides temporary delays on the unspecified roads Obama will travel, officials are hoping the impact of the president’s visit on the daily routines of Chattanoogans will be minimal.
Residents near the airport may catch a glimpse of Air Force One or observe Obama’s motorcade as it parades by. But other than quick trips down city roads, the White House has offered no indication that the president will make any public appearances during his stop.
Obama is expected to touch down in Chattanooga at approximately 12:30 p.m., according to a press schedule released by the White House Monday. Officials with the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport expect no major interruptions for outgoing or incoming flights Tuesday but have encouraged travelers to contact their airlines before flying, just in case.
From the airport, the president’s motorcade will travel approximately 8 miles northeast to the 1-million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center at Enterprise South.
Donna Job, who is resident agent in charge at the U.S. Secret Service office in Chattanooga, has been coordinating plans for the visit with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Job, who spent four years working on the vice president’s Secret Service detail in Washington D.C., said drivers who are planning to be in the area tomorrow may need to anticipate additional minutes to their commutes, but no major delays.
“There won’t be anything long term,” Job said. “It’s not like we’ll shut the road down for hours.”
Once he arrives at Amazon, Obama will tour the facility-which is the size of 17 football fields.
He’ll also deliver a speech promoting job policies for the private sector at 2 p.m. According to the White House, the address will be the first in a series of policy speeches on Obama’s “better bargain for the middle class.”
Last week, Obama spoke on the economy during trips to Illinois, Missouri and Florida.
The audience for the president’s remarks is limited to Amazon employees, public officials and the press-along with any others who received invitations from the White House. Although no Republican federal lawmakers will be in attendance, other local officials are expected to be present at Amazon, including Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
Following his speech, Obama is expected to return to the airport and depart Chattanooga at 3 p.m.