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Portion of Capitol Avenue in Frankfort set to be closed to enhance security

A portion of Capitol Avenue in Frankfort, between the state Capitol and Annex buildings, is set...
A portion of Capitol Avenue in Frankfort, between the state Capitol and Annex buildings, is set to be shut down to enhance security around the Capitol Annex.(WKYT)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 4:11 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A portion of Capitol Avenue in Frankfort, between the state Capitol and Annex buildings, is set to be shut down to enhance security around the Capitol Annex.

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Democratic Governor Andy Beshear said the goal is to keep visitors, lawmakers and police safe.

“So that we never see something like, for instance, what we saw in Charlottesville where there are demonstrations where a car can get in,” said Gov. Beshear.

Beshear said Kentucky State Police and federal agencies have been recommending enhanced security in the area for quite some time. His administration is now seeking quotes for the installation of bollards that will be placed on the east and west ends of Capitol Avenue. He says the closed off area can become a green space.

“Where we can host functions. Where people can come and voice their first amendment rights and to do it safely,” Gov. Beshear said.

However, some Republican lawmakers feel the green space is unnecessary and could create problems.

“It’s going to limit the public’s access once again to one of their buildings. I think it’s a bad decision and I think he should reverse it,” said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-District 17.

Sen. Thayer also challenged the governor’s claims the need for enhanced security.

“I think that’s a red herring, an overreaction to something that happened on January 6 that we haven’t seen happen since or around the country,” Sen. Thayer said. “I’ve been working here for over 19 years. I feel very safe at the Capitol.”

Beshear said the green space construction could start soon.

Beshear does not need the state legislature’s approval to shut down that portion of Capitol Avenue, but state legislators have the power to override his decision.

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