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CCSU, state police preparing for vice president’s Wednesday trip to Connecticut

V.P. Kamala Harris will take part in an abortion rights discussion at the New Britain school. State police say commuters should anticipate possible disruptions.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the school Wednesday afternoon to take part in an abortion rights discussion with representatives from Planned Parenthood and Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.

State police say drivers should anticipate possible disruptions as Harris visits. Harris will fly into Bradley International in Windsor Locks at 9:45 Wednesday morning and depart at 3:25 in the afternoon. Drivers should anticipate possible commute disruptions.

“Don’t get frustrated, stay patient,” Sgt. Christine Jeltema with the state police said.

RELATED: VP Harris to be part of roundtable discussion on abortion rights at CCSU Wednesday

She says on-ramps and off-ramps and portions of highways will be closed for a period of time as Harris travels. She says driving in New Britain will be a “mess.”

“We try to reopen these as soon as possible and it’s more for the safety of the politicians and the safety of the commuters that will be traveling in the area,” she said. “Our Troop H troopers are going to do an amazing job, assisting Secret Service, shutting down the highways, on-ramps, off-ramps, depending on what the needs are to protect the vice president.”

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Central Connecticut State University police are preparing for the vice president to speak on campus Wednesday.

Secret Service takes the reins on security for the visit but the CCSU Police Department and New Britain Police Department are also involved. The university has set up fences and tents near F. Don James Hall off Stanley Street. Students are excited to welcome Harris to their campus.

“I’m a little excited. I heard she’s coming about reproduction right so I want to hear what she has to say about it. It’s a big issue,” freshman Desiree, who did not want to share her last name, said. “I’m a little nervous because she is the vice president and everyone’s talking about it.”

Junior Jake Constantine says it’s “fantastic” the vice president is coming to this college out of all of them across the country. 

“I hope that all the students here are able to remain levelheaded because, obviously, it’s a topic that is fairly inflammatory in today’s day and age. I hope that everyone’s able to entertain a conversation that’s as civil and open as possible,” he said.

RELATED: CCSU political science professor says VP's visit to the school is a political move

Rep. Hayes says the meeting is not campaign business. It’s happening just a few weeks out from the November election where she will go against Republican George Logan. A CCSU political science professor told FOX61 there is likely a political motive behind the meeting as Hayes’ district race could go either way. Logan believes the meeting is political to help Hayes in the race and argues there are more pressing issues to voters like the economy.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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