While tanks seem to be headed to D.C. for July Fourth, according to the Washington Post and the Associated Press, law enforcement is preparing for serious road closures near the National Mall beginning at 4 a.m. that day. The closures will include those of the 9th and 12th street tunnels until 4 p.m. in addition to those of dozens of blocks until about 11 p.m.
Officials are advising attendees to avoid driving through the area. “If you’re planning to drive downtown to watch the fireworks, please don’t,” wrote Kevin Donahue, D.C.’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice, on Twitter. “Take Metro, bike, scooter, walk, pogo stick, zipline.” Metrorail is set to be open from 7 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. and will operate on almost-rush-hour frequency after 2 p.m.; Metrobus will run on a Saturday schedule with detours near the Mall.
Access to western half of the Mall will be restricted to certain points. The area in front of the Lincoln Memorial and about halfway down the Reflecting Pool will be ticketed and reserved for VIPs, a Secret Service representative said at a press conference held last Friday by federal and District officials. A parade, a presidential speech, flyovers, and fireworks are all planned.
Below is a list of expected street closures (including no-parking changes), followed by a map:
“Theodore Roosevelt Bridge inbound to Constitution Avenue; all traffic will be diverted to the E Street Expressway
Independence Avenue SW from 15th to 23rd streets SW
23rd Street NW northbound from Constitution Avenue to Virginia Avenue NW; 23rd Street NW southbound will be allowed to flow and access outbound Theodore Roosevelt Bridge
22nd Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue NW
21st Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue NW
20th Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue NW
19th Street NW from Virginia Avenue to Constitution Avenue NW
18th Street NW from Virginia to Constitution avenues NW
17th Street NW from New York to Constitution avenues NW
15th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
14th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
12th Street NW from Pennsylvania to Constitution avenues NW
9th Street NW from Pennsylvania to Constitution avenues NW
7th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
6th Street NW from Pennsylvania to Constitution avenues NW
4th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
3rd Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
Henry Bacon Drive NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle NW
Constitution Avenue NW from 3rd to 23rd streets NW
Arlington Memorial Bridge (to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic)
Southbound Rock Creek Parkway will be closed at Virginia Avenue NW
Maine Avenue SW will be closed at I-395 to all westbound traffic
Access to East Potomac Park from I-395 will be by National Park Service permit only
The northbound HOV lanes of the 14th Street Bridge will be diverted to eastbound I-395. The northbound main lanes of the 14th Street Bridge will also be diverted to eastbound I-395.”
For boaters, the area of the Potomac River between the Arlington Memorial and Roosevelt bridges will be “no anchor” zones from about 4 a.m. to midnight, according to D.C. police. Other waterway restrictions include certain anchoring and no-access zones, described here:
“There will be a designated anchorage zone north of the 14th Street Bridge on the west side of the Potomac River (Virginia shore side); this zone will be just north of the entrance to the Pentagon Lagoon to south of the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
There will be a watercraft safety zone north of the 14th Street Bridge on the east side of the Potomac River (Washington, DC side); this zone will be just north of the entrance to the Pentagon Lagoon to south of the Arlington Memorial Bridge. This means no boating, no anchoring.
Watercrafts will be allowed to anchor outside of the channel north of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge and south of the 14th Street Bridge.
There may be intermittent travel restrictions between the 14th Street Bridge and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge between the hours of 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.”
Additional road closures relate to two neighborhood parades and a National Archives event.
“Barracks Row Parade
The following roads will be closed from approximately 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.:
8th Street SE from D to I streets SE
E Street SE from 7th to 9th streets SE
G Street SE from 7th to 9th streets SE
The following roads will be closed from approximately 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.:
MacArthur Boulevard from Whitehaven Park to Edmunds Place NW
National Archives July 4th Declaration of Independence Reading
The following roads will be closed from approximately 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.:
Constitution Avenue NW between 7th and 9th streets NW”
Flyovers—including by all five branches of the military, the Blue Angels and Air Force One—are anticipated above the National Mall between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. “While there will be an increase in traffic noise, there is no cause for alarm,” notes a release from the District.
But because of the flyovers, flights at Reagan National Airport will be put on hold between 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday. Flights will also be affected from 9 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. because of the subsequent fireworks display.
FAA Statement: On July 4, the #FAA will suspend operations at @Reagan_Airport from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET. Operations will also be impacted from 9:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Please check with your airline for flight information. pic.twitter.com/HbLumFNuZJ— The FAA (@FAANews) July 2, 2019
As the weather on the Fourth is predicted to be in the 90s, cooling buses will be stationed along the Mall, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday. Other official details are available here. Preparations for the holiday’s events were underway as of Tuesday morning, per the Hill.
This post has been updated with information about service at Reagan National Airport.