President Joe Biden today is to tour and speak at the Volvo Group Trucks powertrain plant off Pennsylvania Avenue north of Hagerstown.
Here's an update on things as we know them.
Roads reopened as president boards Air Force One
Maugans Avenue, Crayton Boulevard and Showalter Road have reopened after being closed temporarily to allow President Joe Biden's motorcade to make its way from the Volvo Group Trucks plant to Hagerstown Regional Airport, reporters on scene said.
Check back to www.heraldmailmedia.com for complete coverage of the president's visit.
Roads closed again after Biden finishes speaking
President Joe Biden spoke to the crowd about American manufacturing and investment. The speech also decried Republicans over various policy issues and what they might do if they win control of Congress.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure law and CHIPS and Science acts were mentioned by name. Biden said Republicans seem to be arguing for fewer jobs and trickle-down economic policies, and that it's time for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.
Following the speech, Biden waded through the crowd chatting, shaking hands and taking photos. He was still shaking hands when press left the room at 1:52, according to a reporter on scene.
Police closed off Maugans Avenue and Showalter Road around 1:55 p.m., not long after Biden's address, reporters on the scene said.
At 2 p.m., the motorcade was headed back to Hagerstown Regional Airport.
Biden was headed to Philadelphia, then to Wilmington, Del., where he planned to spend the weekend. Biden was Delaware's U.S. senator for more than three decades.
Hagerstown mayor, congressman speak to crowd at Volvo
Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller and U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-6th, took to a stage at the factory ahead of President Joe Biden.
Keller spoke about the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed earlier this year. Trone said this is "just the beginning of a historic presidency."
There were perhaps 200 people there to listen, according to reporters. That includes factory workers, executives, area politicians, members of the press and Biden staffers.
Along with Volvo Trucks signs, there's a banner at the back reading "We are the heart & we keep the heart beating."
Before the speeches, the soundtrack playing included songs by The Cranberries and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.
Biden tours Volvo plant
President Joe Biden made his way onto the factory floor at Volvo Group Trucks in Hagerstown around 12:45 p.m.
He spoke with workers and looked at some of the equipment the Hagerstown operation uses to develop and manufacture what the company's website says are "heavy-duty diesel engines, transmissions, and axles for Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks, Prevost coaches, and Volvo Buses."
Biden said the assembly was "amazing" and represents the future, according to a reporter on the tour.
He was joined by U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-6th, whose district includes Hagerstown.
Maugans Avenue, Showalter Roads reopen
President Joe Biden's motorcade has entered the Volvo plant at the Maugans Avenue entrance, according to reporters on the scene.
Both Showalter Road and Maugans Avenue, which had been shut down temporarily for the motorcade, have been reopened.
Biden on his way to Volvo
A reporter at Hagerstown Regional Airport says that President Joe Biden's motorcade just left the airport.
Washington County Republican Central Committee, Club members on hand
Jerry DeWolf, chairman of the Washington County Republican Central Committee was on Maugans Avenue, joined by members of the committee as well as members of the Washington County Republican Club.
That included committee members Ginger Bigelow, Nancy Allen and Marilee Kerns, who is also on Boonsboro Town Council. DeWolf said that John Hose, president of the Republican Club, was there with other club members.
The committee advertised on Facebook Wednesday night asking people to join in the protest, also noting the group does not advocate violence, vulgarity or profanity.
"We’re out here to send a message directly to the president of the United States and Congressman David Trone that we need them to take our national and global emergencies seriously," DeWolf said.
He noted that Trone, a Democrat and incumbent U.S. representative for Maryland's 6th Congressional District, is facing Neil Parrott, a state delegate from Washington County who lost to Trone in 2020. With the district redrawn, some observers say Parrott has a better chance this year to win.
“I think it is absolutely stunning that the president of the United States with a 39% approval rating is here to do a campaign stump for Congressman David Trone in a (Democratic-voter-leaning) district,” DeWolf said. “They (Biden and Trone) must be in full panic mode because they know they’re in trouble with the American People.”
We came to take pictures
Sameea Safi of Chambersburg, Pa., was at the corner of Perini Drive and Showalter Road, as close as the public could get to the airport Friday morning. She was hoping to get photos of Air Force One for her son, an aviation buff and a junior at Chambersburg Area Senior High School
"So he told us Air Force One was going to be here, so we came out to take pictures for him because he’s still in school,” she said.
Armed with her cell phone camera, she was waiting for the president’s plane to come into view so she could get a few shots.
"Hopefully we can see something,” she said.
Protestors wait for president on Maugans Avenue
About 15 people waited Thursday morning near the Maugans Avenue entrance to Volvo Group Trucks in Hagerstown, most holding signs that were decided anti-Biden.
Some signs read "Let's go Brandon" or were related to Biden administration policies. Many contained vulgar statements.
“It costs a paycheck to go to the grocery store anymore,” said Mike Potter, 75, retired of Hagerstown, who stood with a "Let's go Brandon" T-shirt with his wife, Donna, 62.
The couple said they were protesting the way the country was headed, listing off a number of issues including inflation, immigration and gas prices.
Hagerstown resident Tom Borum, who said he was retired from Mack trucks, said he was on Maugans Avenue to support Biden and counteract the protestors.
"It’s very sad when working-class people get duped by a grifter and con man named Trump,” he said, referring to the former Republican president who lost in 2020 to Biden.
"Joe Biden has done a lot and continues to do more to help the working person out," Borum said. "It's sad that people believe in trickle-down economics. It doesn’t trickle down."
President Biden's schedule today in Hagerstown
The White House said in a news release that Biden, flying from Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County, is to arrive at Hagerstown Regional Airport around noon.
He'll head to the Volvo plant and tour the facility, then speak to a group "on building the economy from the bottom up and middle out."
He is due to depart Hagerstown after 2:30 p.m.
Local officials have prepared for presidential visit
The Washington County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police and others have worked with the Secret Service to prepare for Biden's visit. Those driving around the Volvo plant entrance off Maugans Avenue and the Hagerstown Regional Airport between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. should expect delays.
Biden is expected to tour the factory, which employs roughly 1,200 people and used to be home of Mack Trucks before Volvo took over. The site still produces parts for Mack Trucks.
The president is expected to give a speech after the tour. The White House said Biden will talk about rebuilding the economy "from the bottom up and the middle out," including his legislative agenda that he and his supporters say is aimed at supporting the middle class.
It's also possible Biden will point to what he considers his legislative accomplishments — including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, among others.
Check back here throughout the day for more updates on the visit, including a livestream of Bidens speech, as well as details on traffic delays.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Joe Biden visits Hagerstown MD Volvo plant; Live updates