PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — President Joe Biden will visit Portland and Seattle on Thursday, marking his first trip to the Pacific Northwest as President.
KGW will provide on-air and streaming coverage of the visit, including Biden’s arrival and departure and his remarks in between. Streaming coverage can be accessed in the player above and on YouTube and the KGW app.
Portland has a long and at times tumultuous history of presidential visits, but it’s been a while since the last one, when then-President Barack Obama dropped by in 2015. Biden himself also visited one year earlier, when he was Vice President.
Here’s everything you need to know about Biden’s visit:
Why is Biden coming to Portland?
The official reason for Biden’s visit is to talk infrastructure. The White House said last week that Biden will speak about “his Administration’s efforts to continue bringing down costs for American families and growing our clean energy economy.”
The speech will mention investments to make Portland International Airport run smoothly, according to Deputy Press Secretary Chris Meagher, including a planned upgrade to make one of the airport’s two runways seismically resilient.
The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is one of the highest-profile investment candidates in the region and might get a shout-out.
Meagher also confirmed that Biden will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraising event while he’s in town, although he declined to comment further, citing the Hatch Act.
Where is Biden going in Portland — and when will he be there?
The White House hasn’t released an exact schedule for Biden’s visit, but the approximate rundown calls for him to be in town for about four hours starting early Thursday afternoon.
Biden is scheduled to arrive at the Portland Air National Guard 142 Fighter Base next to Portland International Airport, and he will give the infrastructure speech at the airport.
Sources familiar with the trip confirmed to KGW that the fundraising event will be held at The Portland Yacht Club, which is about one mile west of the airport along Northeast Marine Drive. Biden is scheduled to make his appearance there at some point after speaking at the airport.
He will then return to the airport, where he’s scheduled to depart for Seattle on the next leg of his trip.
Will there be traffic jams?
Obama’s visits during his presidency were memorable in part because they generated significant traffic backups throughout the metro area due to the security coordination required to steer his motorcade through Portland’s streets.
However, a repeat of the gridlock on Thursday appears unlikely. Biden’s schedule calls for him to stay within a narrow slice of Northeast Portland, only journeying from the airport to the yacht club and back again.
A spokesperson for Portland International Airport said there could be some minor flight delays while Biden is arriving and leaving, so travelers should check in with their airlines to make sure things are still on schedule.
Other than that, the only unusual backups might be on or near Northeast Marine Drive, unless the President makes an unannounced pit stop for snacks. It wouldn’t be the first time: