Efforts to increase the security of the White House fence jumped one obstacle Thursday, as an important board advanced preliminary concepts for a new design.
The Commission of Fine Arts signed off on the basic ideas from the U.S. Secret Service and National Park Service for a perimeter fence that would be much higher than the current one, which has been increasingly a problem for security breaches.
The goal is to start construction on a new fence by 2018.
In the past few years, several high-profile fence-jumping incidents have sent Secret Service agents scrambling, including an instance in 2014 when a man made it into the White House before being apprehended by agents. In 2015, temporary measures were put in place, including an anti-climb feature on top of the fence, though jumpers have still attempted to scale the structure.
The fence reached its current form between 1900 and 1920 and is about 7 feet tall.
New concept designs would make the fence 11 feet 7 inches, would widen and strengthen the pickets, and would slightly increase the space between them. The proposal includes renderings of similar structures around the world in comparison with the current fence.
The vote by CFA is only preliminary – a detailed concept would need to be given final approval by the board before construction were to begin.