Photos show ramped-up troops and barriers locking down Washington, DC, ahead of Biden’s inauguration

national guard
National Guard Citizen-soldiers stand guard downtown on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.
  • Local and federal officials in the city of Washington, DC, are on high alert ahead of this week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
  • Fears stem following the deadly insurrection earlier this month at the US Capitol led by supporters of President Donald Trump.
  • From non-scalable fencing around the US Capitol to the closure of the National Mall and streets in downtown DC, photos show the unprecedented measures officials are taking to ensure the presidential transition occurs smoothly.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Local and federal officials in Washington, DC, are taking unprecedented security measures ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Wednesday. 

While much of the ceremony was already planned to be virtual due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the armed and deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6 has prompted increased measures, including the deployment of more than 20,000 members of the National Guard to the nation's capital. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser bluntly requested that people stay out of the city during the inauguration. 

At least five people died as a result of the January 6 insurrection, which was led by supporters of President Donald Trump who believed his baseless conspiracy theory that his loss in the election was the result of widespread voter fraud. There is no evidence to support such a theory.

Read more: Biden's inauguration is raising tens of millions of dollars but won't say how it's spending the money

From the additional troops to the closure of streets in downtown DC, photos show how leaders in Washington are preparing for the swearing-in of the new administration later this week.

At a press conference with DC and federal officials Friday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new security measures, saying the city found itself in "uncharted waters."
muriel bowser
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser, holds a public safety briefing Friday.

Source: PBS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned of armed protests in DC and in state capitols across the US this week, promoting heightened security nationwide.
Onlookers snap a photo of the US Capitol through protective fencing installed after the January 6 attack.

Source: Insider

In a briefing with Vice President Mike Pence last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency saw an "extensive amount of concerning online chatter" leading to the enhanced security.
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A Secret Service tent in downtown DC on January 16, 2021.

Source: FBI

On January 13, Bowser requested that a National Special Security Event be declared earlier than is typical for a presidential inauguration.
national guard
National Guard Citizen-soldiers stand guard downtown on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Source: PBS

Following the January 6 insurrection, a seven-foot, non-scalable fence was added around the Capitol Hill complex. Barbed wire sits atop the fence, providing an additional barrier to entry to the grounds.
Security fencing runs down a street near the U.S. Capitol building, with the Washington Monument at top, on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Over 20,000 troops in total will be deployed in the nation's capital for the January 20 inauguration. That's more than the number of troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
National Guard
Members of the National Guard patrol inside the perimeter of the fence erected around the Capitol.

Source: USA Today

Road traffic in much of Washington has been halted as officials made the unprecedented move to close streets through Thursday. Four major bridges between Virginia and DC will also be closed to all traffic for 48 hours.
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Constitution Avenue is deserted next to the U.S. Capitol building on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Source: The Washington Post, Reuters

The closures are centered around downtown DC and around Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial, Union Station, the National Mall, and the White House.
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A woman and her dog stand on a street that has been closed to vehicle traffic in Washington, DC.

Source: The Washington Post \

Parts of Washington looked like a war zone days before the inauguration as members of the National Guard patrolled the city in Humvees.
Nation Guardsmen in a Humvee drive through the intersection of 15th street NW and L street NW on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.
On Friday, the National Park Service closed the National Mall and other US landmarks in DC to visitors through at least January 21. During typical years, onlookers gather on the National Mall to watch a new president be inaugurated.
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The moon rises beyond spot lights on the National Mall framing the Washington monument as preparations are made ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2021.

Source: Reuters

Much of the inauguration was already expected to be held virtually due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, but the insurrection prompted heightened security in DC. A rehearsal was pushed from Sunday to Monday, and Biden's planned Amtrak ride from Delaware was canceled.
A Humvee is parked within the fencing that presently surrounds the US Capitol complex.
President-elect Biden plans to be sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, as is customary. US flags can be seen hanging from the building ahead of Biden's swearing-in.
The US Capitol is seen at night days ahead of Biden's inauguration.

Source: Politico

Airbnb canceled and blocked all Washington, DC, reservations during the week of the inauguration in an effort to discourage people from traveling there for the inauguration.
Washington DC
A person rides a bike on a empty street on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Source: Insider

Because of the pandemic and the insurrection, the DC mayor has urged Americans to stay home and out of DC during the inauguration.
Fencing is seen outside the UC Capitol Complex in Washington, DC, following the deadly insurrection there on January 6.

Source: WTOP

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