Celebrating Independence Day: Road closures in DC

- Nearly 700,000 people are expected to gather in the nation’s capital for Independence Day events this year. The biggest one will be on the National Mall as A Capitol Fourth celebration will be held Tuesday evening with a concert and huge fireworks show to cap off the night.

John Stamos will host the 37th annual edition of this event at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and musical acts such as The Beach Boys, The Blues Brothers, Yolanda Adams, Trace Adkins and National Symphony Orchestra are all scheduled to perform.

D.C. officials are also preparing for the large crowds coming down to the National Mall and there will be plenty of road closures that commuters need to be aware of.

Metropolitan Police Department and National Park Police Road Closures on July 4:

Closed from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 10:00 p.m.:
• Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle on the Virginia end, to and including Lincoln Memorial Circle in the District
• Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue, NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all approaches and ramps
• Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle
• Henry Bacon Drive, NW
• Daniel Chester French Drive, SW
• Lincoln Memorial Circle and all approaches and ramps into and out of Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive N, Daniel Chester French Drive SW, 23rd Street, NW and 23rd Street, SW
• Ramp from Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW and Ohio Drive, SW; all inbound traffic from the bridge will be directed to the E Street Expressway
• Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street, NW to 14th Street, NW
• 7th Street NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
• 4th Street NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
• 15th Street, NW from E Street, NW south to Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
• 17th Street, NW from E Street, NW south to Independence Avenue, SW
• 18th Street, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and Virginia Avenue, NW
• 19th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to C Street, NW
• 20th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to C Street, NW
• 21st Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to C Street, NW
• 22nd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to C Street, NW
• Virginia Avenue, NW from Constitution Avenue, NW to 18th Street, NW
• C Street, NW from 17th Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
• D Street, NW from 17th Street, NW to 18th Street, NW
• Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW to Maine Avenue, SW
• Independence Avenue, SW from 14th Street, SW to 23rd Street, SW, including merge with Rock Creek Parkway
• Madison Drive, NW from 15th Street, NW to 3rd Street, NW
• Jefferson Drive, SW from  15th Street, SW to 3rd Street, SW
• Ohio Drive, SW from the Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue, SW
• West Basin Drive, SW from Ohio Drive, SW to Independence Avenue, SW
• East Basin Drive, SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive, SW
• Ramp from southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Memorial Avenue /Circle
• Ramp from northbound Va. Route 110 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
• Ramp from Va. Route 27 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
• The right lane of northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th Street Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Closed from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 10:00 p.m.:
• 6th Street between Pennsylvania, NW and Constitution, NW
• 9th Street between Pennsylvania, NW and Constitution, NW
• 10th Street between Pennsylvania, NW and Constitution, NW
• 12th Street between Pennsylvania, NW and Constitution, NW

Closed from 11:00 a.m. until approximately 10:00 p.m. :
• 3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Maryland Avenue, SW
• Constitution Avenue, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to 14th Street, NW
• 14th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW

Closed from 3:00 p.m. until approximately 12:00 a.m., July 5
• Eastbound U.S. Route 50 ramps to GWMP and roads in the immediate area of U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial;
• Southbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9:00 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. as necessary)
• Northbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9:00 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. as necessary)

Lane Restrictions
DDOT will not run normal weekday reversible lane operations on the following corridors:
• Connecticut Avenue, NW, between Legation Street and Woodley Road
• Canal Road between Chain Bridge and Foxhall Road, NW
• Rock Creek Parkway (controlled by the National Park service)
• Independence Avenue between 4th Street, SW and 2nd Street, SE
• 16th Street, NW, between Arkansas Avenue and Irving Street

Construction Restrictions
DDOT has established a moratorium on all permitted work in public space starting noon Monday, July 3 through Wednesday, July 5. Construction can resume Wednesday, July 5 under permitted hours. This moratorium does not apply to emergency work.

Public Transit
Residents and visitors are encouraged to take public transportation on July 4. Metrorail will operate on or near rush-hour service levels before and after the fireworks. Metrobus will operate on a Saturday schedule and some routes will be detoured around the National Mall. Metrorail service will end at midnight on July 4. For more information about Metro service this holiday weekend please visit WMATA.com

DC Circulator buses will operate on a modified schedule July 4. The National Mall (red) route will not operate due to road closures. The Navy Yard (purple) and Potomac Avenue (orange) routes will make detours to avoid the parade along 8th Street, SE. The Rosslyn-Dupont (blue) route may experience possible delays if MPD closes the Key Bridge due to high pedestrian activities. For more information, please visit dccirculator.com. DC Circulator also uses NextBus, and it can be found on the RideDC app. 

The DCStreetcar will run normal service hours from 6:00 a.m. to midnight on July 4.

Capital Bikeshare will provide a bike corral at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW on July 4 to accommodate the large number of riders expected to use the system to around the National Mall. The corral will be made available from 3:00 p.m. until one hour after the fireworks are over. For more information, please visit capitalbikeshare.com.

Attendees are advised to use public transportation for Mall events as parking restrictions will be enforced Tuesday, July 4 along Constitution Avenue, from 7th to 17th Streets, NW, in support of the annual parade, as well as areas outside of Nationals Park, which will have a game. Parking meters will not be in effect July 4, except the area near Nationals Park. Emergency no parking areas will be enforced throughout the District. Parking will also be enforced along the DC Streetcar route.

Emergency no parking areas will be enforced throughout the District, and parking near the National Mall will be extremely limited. Due to the heavy pedestrian crowds anticipated for the Independence Day-related events, motorists are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when traveling through these areas.

Travel Safety
DDOT and its regional partners remind pedestrians and motorists to obey all traffic laws, including crossing at designated crosswalks and following the directions of MPD and other law enforcement personnel. DDOT will deploy Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) to assist with the flow of traffic and pedestrian movements at key intersections around the District.

District Fireworks Regulations
Residents and guests are reminded that firecrackers of any kind or description are prohibited in Washington, DC. This prohibition includes the following:

• any firework that explodes, such as cherry bombs, salutes, Roman candles, floral shells, artillery shells
• any firework intended to move after the piece is placed and fired; such as bottle rockets, parachutes, buzzbombs, pinwheels, helicopters, jumping jacks
• sparklers more than 20 inches (50mm) in length
• any firework that contains mercury, arsenic, tetryl, phosphorous, sulphocyanide, magnesium, potassium picrate, gallic acid, chlorate of potash and sugar, or any highly oxidizing agent
• any firework having a side fuse, or a fuse inserted at any point along the length of the firework
• any firework found by the code official to be dangerous to the safety of persons or property

Items permitted in Washington, DC include:
• toy paper caps containing not more than twenty-five hundredths (0.25) of a grain of explosive composition per cap
• sparklers not more than 20 inches (50mm) in length
• torches, cones
• box fires, fountains
• dip-sticks, non-poisonous snakes
• paper novelty items, colored lights

Additional information on accepted and prohibited items can be found at mpdc.dc.gov. 

Fireworks Safety
Residents are encouraged to use extreme caution when handling fireworks and keep them away from children. Fireworks safety tips are offered by Safety Kids Worldwide include:

• Leave Fireworks to the Professionals: The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals. If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

• Be Extra Careful With Sparklers: Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass. Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.

• Take Necessary Precautions: Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.

• Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury: Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it. Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

Preparing for Heat
In the event of extreme heat, residents should take the following precautions:
• Stay indoors as much as possible.
• Turn on the air conditioner or fan.
• Never leave children or pets in vehicles.
• Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
• Wear light-colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting clothes.
• Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside.
• Limit exposure to the sun, especially between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
• Watch for symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
• Check on elderly or sick neighbors and friends.
• Those without access to cool shelter can visit one of the District's Cooling Centers. Cooling Center locations can be found on heat.dc.gov. (Note: East Potomac Pool (972 Ohio Drive, SW) and Happy Hollow Children’s Pool (2200 Champlain Street, NW) are closed for the season due to major renovations.)

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