Motorcade ‘on the loose, on the move’ causes delays on Capital Beltway’s Inner Loop

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The Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway at the Georgetown Pike exit is now open and traffic is moving. But, earlier Tuesday, a motorcade caused delays as long as 4 miles.

Dave Dildine in the WTOP Traffic Center described a motorcade “on the loose, on the move” around 5 p.m. that caused “extreme delays to develop” through McLean in Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland.

Although the Inner Loop, George Washington Parkway and nearby bridge closures were lifted by 5:20 p.m., heavy delays still remain on routes between Tysons Corner and Bethesda.

It was later confirmed to be a presidential motorcade that pasted through the Capital Beltway. President Joe Biden’s public schedule for Tuesday indicated that he was scheduled to leave the White House at 4:10 p.m. to participate in a “campaign reception” in two locations in Chevy Chase, Maryland, according to, a website that searches public databases.

In a statement, the Secret Service said the agency does not specifically discuss the “means and methods used to conduct protective operations in order to maintain operational security.”

Secret Service spokesman Steve Kopek said the agency works with state and local partners to “make every effort possible to anticipate and minimize potentially adverse impacts to the public and local communities during a protective movement.” Virginia State Police said traffic controls were in place at the request of the U.S. Secret Service.

While waiting for the motorcade to pass, Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination advised drivers to consider postponing trips through the area.

But, it was rather late for Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass, who was caught in traffic.

Dildine said that this was one of the longest traffic stoppages for a motorcade that he can remember — nearly an hour and a half for all traffic in the Inner Loop.

The motorcade’s return trip stopped traffic on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway around 7:30 p.m., but traffic delays cleared shortly after 8 p.m.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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