WASHINGTON - The Washington, D.C. region will see a major increase in traffic this Fourth of July holiday weekend as travel rebounds and festivities resume following a year of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says two out of ten residents – over 1.3 million -- in the region will travel 50 miles or more from home. Officials say the increase is up 70 percent compared to the same time last year.
The busiest times on the roadways will be Thursday, July 1, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Friday, July 2 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In the D.C. area, AAA experts say to avoid southbound Interstate 95 and Route 3 to Dumfries Road -- especially from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday when a 30 percent increase can be expected.
Heavy traffic volume is expected across Maryland’s Bay Bridge and along the Route 50 corridor from Friday through Monday, July 5.
Experts say the best times to travel the Bay Bridge this holiday period are:
Friday, July 2 before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 3 before 6 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 4 before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
Monday, July 5 before 6 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Across the country, 47.7 million Americans will take to this roadways – a nearly 40 percent increase compared to last year -- even as gas prices are at their highest in seven years and as rental car demand skyrockets.
If you’re visiting the National Mall for fireworks celebration, officials say masks are not required for vaccinated people, but unvaccinated people are encouraged to wear them. Added security and checkpoints will be in place.
The display will begin at 9:09 p.m. and will last for 17 minutes.
District officials have also released a list of Independence Day site and road closures that will impact the downtown area.