close
close

What Washington DC’s July 4th Fireworks Mean for Road Closures and Metro Changes

What Washington DC’s July 4th Fireworks Mean for Road Closures and Metro Changes

The Fourth of July festivities bring an annual dose of chaos to downtown Washington, D.C. on Thursday, as roads, bridges and other areas close and public transportation options change.

Around noon, the National Independence Day Parade will feature a procession of bands, floats, military and special forces, and celebrities that will block a portion of Constitution Avenue NW. Thousands of people will fill the National Mall in the evening to watch the annual fireworks display, which the National Park Service claims will be “one of the most spectacular in recent history.”

Here’s what you need to know to get around Washington DC on Thursday, July 4.


Roads closed 4:00 am to approximately midnight

Access to public screening

The on- and off-ramps of Route 50 and the roads in the area surrounding the US Marine Corps War Memorial will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Arlington

National

Cemetery

Incoming bridge traffic to Constitution Ave.

will be redirected to

E St. Highway.

The southbound and northbound GW Parkway ramps to the 14th Street Bridge will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.

The WWII memorial will close

at 4:00 p.m.

All roads within the secured zone will be closed from 4am until approximately midnight.

All visitors must enter through security checks.

The Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial are closed.

Roads closed from 4am until approximately midnight

Access to public screening

All visitors must enter through security checks.

All roads within the secured zone will be closed from 4am until approximately midnight.

Traffic on the bridge to Constitution Ave. is being diverted via the E St. Expressway.

US Marine Corps

War commemoration

The on- and off-ramps of Route 50 and the roads in the area surrounding the US Marine Corps War Memorial will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.

The Washington

Monument will be closed.

The WWII Memorial closes at 4pm

The Lincoln

The monument is closed.

Arlington

National

Cemetery

The southbound and northbound GW Parkway ramps to the 14th Street Bridge will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Roads closed at 4am

until about midnight

Access to public screening

All visitors must enter through security checks.

Traffic on the bridge to Constitution Ave. is being diverted via the E St. Expressway.

All roads within the secured zone will be closed from 4am until approximately midnight.

US Marine Corps

War commemoration

The on- and off-ramps of Route 50 and the roads in the area surrounding the US Marine Corps War Memorial will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.

The Washington Monument is closed.

The WWII Memorial closes at 4pm

The Lincoln Memorial is closed.

Arlington

National

Cemetery

Pentagon North

Parking spot

The southbound and northbound GW Parkway ramps to the 14th Street Bridge will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Metro rides are free after 5pm on Thursdays

Thousands of people will flood Metrorail stations en route to the Mall for Fourth of July festivities. Starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Metro will offer free rides on all train and bus lines, as well as paratransit services. Parking in Metro garages and lots is also free.

The waived fares will last until midnight, when the rail system closes. Metrorail fare gates will be open and riders will not need SmarTrip cards to use the public transportation system.

Metro is increasing service on some train lines all day to ease congestion. The Red Line — which has four stations closed for summer maintenance — will offer trains every six minutes. Other train lines will operate on normal schedules until 5 p.m. After that, Orange, Blue and Silver Line trains will arrive every 10 minutes, and Green and Yellow Line trains will run every six minutes.

The agency warns that the Smithsonian Metrorail station may become overcrowded after the fireworks end, and advises travelers to use nearby stations, including Metro Center, Federal Triangle, Archives, Gallery Place and Union Station. The Foggy Bottom station, which is also nearby, may become “access-only” after the fireworks to avoid congestion. The Arlington Cemetery station, another alternative to the Smithsonian, will be open until 11 p.m.

Metrobus riders using the following lines should opt for Metrorail, as buses on Thursday will operate over difficult routes that may cause delays: 16E, 38B, 33, 32, 36, 42, 43, 52, 64, 70, 74, 79, 90, 92, G12, G14, P6, S2 and X2.

There are four public access points for visitors that walk directly into the shopping centre. These are open from 11am to 9pm:

  • 17th Street SW, just south of the World War II Memorial
  • 15th Street NW at Madison Drive NW
  • 15th Street SW at Jefferson Drive SW
  • Constitution Avenue NW between 23rd Street NW and Henry Bacon Drive NW

Two other access points do not lead directly to the Mall:

  • East Basin Drive at Inlet Bridge, west of the Jefferson Memorial

Fireworks can also be seen from the following locations along the George Washington Memorial Parkway:

  • US Marine Corps War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove at Lady Bird Johnson Park (access to the Potomac Riverfront is via the bicycle/pedestrian tunnel that runs under the Boundary Channel Bridge, also known as the “Humpback Bridge”)
  • Gravelly Point, north of Reagan National Airport
  • Washington Sailing Marina on Daingerfield Island

According to the National Park Service, the following roads will be closed from 4 a.m. Thursday until approximately midnight:

  • Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle, through Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all access roads and ramps
  • Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • Henry Bacon Drive NW from Constitution Avenue to Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • Daniel Chest French Drive SW from Independence Avenue SW to Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • Lincoln Memorial Circle and all access roads and driveways to and from Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive NW, Daniel Chester French Drive SW, 23rd Street NW, and 23rd Street SW
  • Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge ramp to Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW and Ohio Drive SW; all traffic coming from the bridge will be diverted to the E Street Expressway
  • Constitution Avenue NW from 23rd Street NW to 15th Street NW
  • 23rd Street SW from Independence Ave SW to Lincoln Memorial Circle and Constitution Avenue to Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • 17th St NW from Constitution Ave NW to Independence Ave SW
  • Homefront Drive ZW
  • 15th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
  • Raoul Wallenberg Place SW to Maine Avenue SW
  • Independence Avenue SW from 14th Street SW to 23rd Street SW, including the merge with Rock Creek Parkway
  • Ohio Drive SW from 23rd Street SW to Inlet Bridge
  • Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW
  • Jefferson Drive SW from 15th Street SW to 3rd Street SW
  • East Basin Drive SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive SW
  • West Basin Drive SW from Ohio Drive SW to Independence Avenue SW
  • Southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway ramp to Memorial Avenue
  • Northbound Virginia Route 110 ramp to Memorial Avenue
  • Virginia Route 27 ramp to Memorial Avenue
  • The right lane of the northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th Street Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island

The following routes are closed from Thursday 3pm until approximately midnight:

  • Route 50 eastbound ramps to George Washington Memorial Parkway and roads in the immediate vicinity of the US Marine Corps War Memorial
  • Southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway ramp to 14th Street Bridge
  • Access to East Potomac Park from I-395 is only possible with a permit from the National Park Service after 4:00 p.m.

At the same time, the district will close several streets in the city for parades:

The following streets will be closed from 10am to 12:30pm for the Palisades Parade:

  • MacArthur Boulevard from Whitehaven Parkway to Arizona Avenue NW
  • Edmunds Place from Sherier Place to MacArthur Boulevard NW
  • Sherier Place from Edmunds Place to Dana Place NW

The following streets will be closed from 8am to 12pm for the Barracks Row Parade:

  • 8th Street SE from Pennsylvania Avenue to Virginia Avenue
  • D Street from SE 7th Street to 8th Street

The following streets will be closed from 9am to 1pm for the Takoma Park Parade:

  • Carroll Street NW from the DC/Maryland border to Maple Street NW
  • Maple Street NW from Carroll Street NW to the DC/Maryland border

The 3rd Street Tunnel will remain open to traffic to and from the city.

The following locations are closed or have adjusted opening hours during July 4:

  • The National Mall will be closed from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday between 14th Street and the Lincoln Memorial for security. Visitors entering the area after 1 p.m. will be screened.
  • The Lincoln Memorial, including the steps and entranceway, is closed on July 4.
  • The Washington Monument will close at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, and reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Friday.
  • Access to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is restricted after 8 p.m. The memorial remains open, but the public will not be able to access it via Independence Avenue after 8 p.m. Access will be via West Basin and Ohio Drives only.
  • The World War II Memorial will close at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. The cleanup of the memorial will begin immediately following the fireworks show, and the site will open once the cleanup is complete.
  • Pedal boats will not be operating in the Tidal Basin on Thursday.
  • Big Bus Tours will not be operating at the Mall on Thursdays.
  • The DC Circulator’s National Mall route will not operate on Thursday.
  • East Potomac Tennis Center closes at 3 p.m. on Thursday.