Secret Service wants vehicle barriers for DNC

Officials with the the United States Secret Service are looking to purchase eight 16-foot wide mobile barriers to restrict access to traffic at the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention in August.

From the Federal Businesses Opportunities Web site, a federal page that takes contract solicitations:

The barriers are to be 16 foot mobile / portable high-security vehicle barriers. Services to include towing accessories, O&M Training, and light and traffic visibility accessories.

The barrier "type" shall be a ‘barrier gate’ employing a retractable, steel plate. Steel plate height when deployed shall be between  32".

The barrier shall withstand an attempted at a minimum; a DOS K4 crash rating certification of a 15,000-pound vehicle at 30 mph. Mobile barrier shall be capable of crash rating per DOS K12 standard of a 15,000-pound vehicle at 50 mph with the addition of support concrete jersey barriers.

The barricades are set to be erected around the Pepsi Center, the convention site, by Aug. 22, and the new purchases are also planned to be used to surround the Xcel Center in St. Paul, Minn., site of the Republican National convention in September.

Both conventions have been designated as National Special Security Events (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security, which means that the secret service is the lead agency in charge of the design and implementation of security plans for the conventions.

"These barriers are important for security because they are used to restrict vehicle access to a protected site and in vetting who goes where at a site," says Ed Donovan, spokesperson for the secret service, who notes that such barriers have been used at other NSSEs. "We can direct vehicles to various checkpoints we’ve built around a protected site which helps us be more organized. We typically have a checkpoint for deliveries, press, and VIPS.

How much the barriers will cost is currently unknown, because a contractor has not been selected, according to Donovan.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at