Security tightens in Philly ahead of Pope’s visit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Travel restrictions and road closures are taking effect ahead of Pope Francis’ weekend visit to Philadelphia.

Vehicles won’t be allowed in the heart of downtown on Friday, commuter trains are operating on a weekend schedule and pedestrians must go through metal detectors to access areas of downtown within a security zone.

Some streets are being closed off Friday morning for use as emergency access roads.

Beginning at 6 p.m., vehicles won’t be allowed to enter a nearly 5-square-mile area of downtown. Driving will be permitted within the zone, but cars won’t be let back in after leaving.

Starting at 10 p.m., the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Vine Street Expressway, long stretches of Interstate 76 and part of U.S. Route 1 near the seminary where Francis is staying will close.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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