Obama's swing into Boulder City will shut some roads

President Barack Obama will be touching down in Las Vegas shortly before noon today and heading to Boulder City to visit Sempra Energy's Copper Mountain Solar Energy Plant as part of a four-state election year swing.

Motorists are advised to stay away from Boulder City during his visit, scheduled at the plant between 12:30 and 1:40 p.m. The public is not invited to attend.

In a notice on the Boulder City website, Chief of Police Thomas Finn strongly advised motorists to avoid the city during the president's visit. "I anticipate severe congestion throughout the city during the closures," he said.

Obama's stop in Southern Nevada will be his eighth visit to the state since he was elected in 2008, including one trip to Reno in Northern Nevada. The Silver State is a battleground in the 2012 presidential race. The Democrat hopes to score a repeat victory here and win a second term.

The president's tour is intended to highlight his strategy to promote renewable energy and gas and oil production in the United States. The official trip comes at a time when he is under fire by Republicans for rising gasoline prices, nearing $4 a gallon in Nevada.

Obama also plans to visit New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio during his two-day tour.

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Susan Brager is scheduled to greet Obama when he arrives at McCarran International Airport.

The president is scheduled to depart Las Vegas at 2:30 p.m.

Government entities and law enforcement officials are prohibited from providing the exact route of the president's motorcade, which will cause traffic interruptions throughout the day.

It is likely that the motorcade will travel from McCarran to Boulder City and the solar facility on Interstate 215 and U.S. Highway 95.

The Secret Service is expected to close down both sides of the freeways as the motorcade passes through.

Boulder City commuters will feel the brunt of Obama's visit.

About 11:55 a.m., Boulder City police will shut down northbound U.S. Highway 93 at the Veterans Memorial Drive intersection for 30 to 40 minutes. U.S. Highway 95 south from Railroad Pass to Russell Road also will be shut down for 40 minutes.

About 1:40 p.m., the northbound lanes on U.S. Highway 93 at Veterans Memorial Drive will be closed again for 30 to 40 minutes as the president passes through Railroad Pass.

Lakeshore Drive will be the only route out of Boulder City during the closures. Motorists traveling north on U.S. Highway 93 from Arizona will be diverted to Lakeshore Drive to get to Boulder City or Henderson.

"Understand that this traffic plan was dictated to us by the U.S. Secret Service and is firm and final," Finn said in his statement detailing the closures.

Finn said those who do not have business in Boulder City between noon and 3 p.m. are asked to avoid the town and the highways and to leave the business district to truckers, business owners and residents.

Review-Journal writer Laura Myers contributed to this report. Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at apacker@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904.