Roughly 8,000 people will swarm the Connecticut Convention center Friday night as Donald Trump makes a campaign stop in the state. The rally has supporters excited, but commuters concerned with the event kicking off right after rush hour.
Many say Friday night traffic in Hartford is already gridlock, and a visit from a presidential candidate might be enough for some to call it an early weekend.
“It’s a nightmare,” Shawntell Layaw said, who works in Hartford. “It’s going to be mayhem. I think I’ll take a half-day.”
Police say expect delays near the State Street area, American Row and the Founder Bridge. Detours will also be set up and the entire traffic division will be on duty.
Police are asking anyone who has to be in Hartford to give themselves plenty of extra time. Some who live downtown say the crowds are enough to make them cancel their Friday night plans.
“I’m just going to stay in. It will be safer that way,” Drew Lancaster of Hartford said.
Security will be tight with local police officers are working hand in hand with federal law enforcement. The Hartford Police Department is spending more than $40,000 to try and keep the event safe.
“Our bomb squad, those types of units, we’re all going to be out there,” Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. “We will be working closely with the secret service. It’s a massive undertaking.”
Doors to the event open at 4 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m.
Police are advising anyone who plans on attending to arrive early. Protests are already planned.