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G20 traffic fence can be closed at 'a moment's notice,' police say

A police officer stands near security fence for the June 26-27 G20 Summit in Toronto June 14, 2010.

Reuters

Construction of the traffic fence in downtown Toronto is finished, allowing officers to close the area to motorists at "a moment's notice" if there is a security risk, police say.

Workers finished assembling the outer barrier surrounding the G20 summit zone on Monday morning.

"The fence is at a stage where … if we have any reason to believe there's a security risk and we need to secure and close down that area completely, we have the ability to do that now," said Constable Wendy Drummond, a spokeswoman for the Integrated Security Unit that is handling G20 security.

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Const. Drummond said an emergency closure could happen on "a moment's notice". Fencing for the traffic diversion zone extends from Spadina Avenue in the west to Yonge Street in the east, and from King Street West south to Lake Shore Boulevard.

However, the area is still open to full traffic flow. Barring any threats, police plan to start controlling access starting Friday evening.

Police will announce the locations of security checkpoints for motorists who need to enter the traffic diversion zone later in the week. Officers will question drivers, verify identification and search vehicles. However, traffic will not be allowed into the tighter security perimeter surrounding the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Toronto Police are urging drivers to exercise caution while driving in the downtown core because of lane reductions and congestion. Motorists are also asked to take notice of changing parking restrictions.

In addition, the uniformed police presence in downtown Toronto visibly increased over the weekend as security for the G20 ramps up.

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