DNC road closures begin Friday, but perimeter shrinks

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Kilbourn tunnel entering and exiting I-43 in Milwaukee will close Friday, Aug. 14, ahead of the DNC.

Outside of the tunnel, the security perimeter for the ever-shrinking event has been scaled back essentially to the four streets immediately surrounding the Wisconsin Center, as well as the parking garage and parking lot to the south.

Some residents near the shrinking security zone say it’s nice to not have to worry about being able to leave their home, but they would trade it to get the full fledged convention back.

“It would have been real nice for the downtown area, creating revenue for businesses and things of that nature,” Patrick Blanton said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s office sent a statement saying “With the exception of the streets immediately around the Wisconsin Center, downtown will be open, active and welcoming. Do wear a mask; practice social distancing, but don’t stay away because of the convention.”

Doc’s Smokehouse across the street from the Wisconsin Center said the new perimeter could be a good thing, but they still have questions.

“People will still be able to get down here, you’ll still be able to walk across the street, you’ll still be able to get down here, but yeah, it’s really still just a huge unknown for us,” Doc's Vice President of Operations Brian Atkinson said.

The Milwaukee Police Department sent a statement that they "encourage the public to plan accordingly as there will be road closures and some heavy traffic in the immediate area surrounding the Wisconsin Center.”

But that traffic isn’t what businesses originally thought. Doc’s alone has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It could be devastating in terms of what it was originally supposed to be and what it is now.”

According to Secret Service, all streets outside of the Kilbourn tunnel will be closed by 6 p.m. on Saturday at the latest. The streets will remain closed until Friday, Aug. 21.

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