State Police detail safety and road closures for Boston’s 4th of July

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Ahead of Independence Day festivities scheduled for July 3 and 4, Massachusetts State Police held a press conference on the lawn outside the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, detailing measures to security in place for the long weekend.

MSP Superintendent Colonel Christopher Mason took the podium and said the security plans include uniformed, investigative, tactical and intelligence elements.

Mason says there will be both undercover and visible law enforcement at the fireworks display and the Boston Pops concert on July 4. Officials say their marine unit will patrol and enforce navigation regulations, while air wing units will monitor the airspace above.

According to MSP several local and state agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the intelligence during the weeks leading up to the events.

Officials state that the following items are prohibited for visitors to the Boston Pops concert:

  • Coolers on wheels
  • Backpack
  • Firearms, weapons, sharp objects
  • Fireworks
  • Glass containers
  • Cans
  • Pre-mixed drinks
  • Plastic containers over two liters and non-transparent containers. (All liquids must be transported in sealed, transparent plastic containers of two liters or less)
  • Grills, propane tanks, open flames
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bikes in the Oval and Island/Lagoon areas. (Bikes are permitted throughout the rest of the site but should not be left unattended. Bikes tied or locked to fences, posts or other objects are at risk of being removed)
  • Private drones or unmanned aerial vehicles

The MSP states that pop-up tents, covers and tarps are allowed under a certain size. For chairs, officials say folding or beach chairs are the only types allowed. All coolers must be carried by a shoulder strap or a single handle, police said.

Read more: New England cuisine: Lobster prices plummet after state lifts gillnet closure

In terms of road closures, the MSP clarified that many streets and roads would be closed for the weekend and remain so until after Monday:

From Saturday July 2:

  • The Lynch Family Skate Park closes at noon.
  • Parking on Mugar Way, from Arlington Street to Charles Street, closes at 7 a.m. until Tuesday.
  • Mugar Way closed to traffic until 1 p.m.
  • Right lane on westbound Storrow Drive closes at 6 p.m.

From Sunday 3 July:

  • The Esplanade Footbridge adjacent to the Charles River will be closed to pedestrians and community boating cyclists at the Fiedler Footbridge. Detours will be in place, encouraging the public to walk or cycle along the sidewalk adjacent to Storrow Drive from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • The right lane of traffic on westbound Storrow Drive will be closed from Longfellow Bridge to Fielder Walkway for permitted bus parking starting at noon. Traffic will continue westbound on Storrow Drive. (There will be no public parking along Storrow Drive for rehearsals or the concert.)
  • Westbound Storrow Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic from Charles Circle to the Bowker Overpass from 3 p.m. All westbound traffic from Storrow Drive will be diverted to Charles Circle. Westbound traffic from Storrow Drive may re-enter Storrow Drive via Charles Street to Beacon Street via the westbound entrance at the Bowker Overpass.
  • Mugar Way at Beacon Street closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 3 p.m. It will remain closed until the early morning hours of July 5. Pedestrians will be directed to Berkeley Street to access the Esplanade.
  • Berkeley Street to Beacon Street closed to vehicular traffic from 3 p.m.
  • Eastbound Storrow Drive will be closed and rerouted at the Bowker Overpass, beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing through Tuesday.
  • The exit to Arlington Street from the Storrow Tunnel (eastbound) will be closed from 3 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

From Monday July 4:

  • No parking on Memorial Drive (either side) from 450 Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge starting at 9 a.m. Any vehicles remaining after this time will be removed.
  • No parking on Cambridge Parkway from 9 a.m.
  • Access to Storrow Drive westbound from Leverett Circle to Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass) will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.
  • The inbound bus lane on Charles River Dam Road will be closed from Museum Way to Leverett Circle from 9 a.m.
  • The Storrow Drive exit ramp in the Tip O’Neil Tunnel will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles beginning at 9 a.m.
  • The westbound Leverett Circle entrance from Storrow Drive will be closed from 9 a.m. Traffic will be allowed to travel on Msgr. O’Brien Highway to Cambridge and Martha Road to Boston.
  • No parking at Magazine Beach and Magazine Pool, Riverside Boat Club and MWRA Pumphouse (Cottage Farm) after 9 a.m. There is also no boat launching allowed in this area.
  • The Fanny Appleton pedestrian walkway at Charles Circle leading to the Esplanade is closed from 9 a.m.
  • The Beacon Street Fiedler Walkway to the Esplanade is closed from 9 a.m.
  • The stairs at Longfellow Bridge and Mass Ave Bridge (Harvard) will be closed beginning at 9 a.m.
  • No access to Storrow Drive westbound from Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass) after 3 p.m.
  • No access to westbound Storrow Drive from the Beacon Street ramp under the Bowker Overpass as of 3 p.m.
  • Eastbound Storrow Drive will be detoured to University Avenue beginning at 3 p.m.
  • Memorial Drive closed to vehicular traffic in both directions from Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge beginning at 4 p.m.
  • Main Street, Cambridge from Third Street to Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic from 4 p.m.
  • Ames Street from Main Street to Memorial Drive, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic from 4 p.m.
  • Wadsworth and Amherst Streets, Cambridge, closed to motor traffic from 4 p.m.
  • Land Boulevard from Binney Street to Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic from 4 p.m.
  • Hayward, Carlton, Charlotte’s Way and Dock Streets in Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic from 4 p.m.
  • Permitted access to 1 Memorial Drive only with permit issued after 4 p.m.
  • Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic from 4 p.m. Bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed to cross the bridge.
  • The Longfellow Bridge will be closed to bicycles and foot traffic from approximately 9:00 p.m. until the end of the fireworks. No fireworks from the Longfellow Bridge will be permitted.
  • Massachusetts Avenue (Harvard) Bridge closed in both directions to vehicular traffic from Beacon Street in Boston to Vassar Street in Cambridge from 4 p.m. Bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed to cross the bridge.
  • The Massachusetts Ave Bridge (Harvard) will be closed to bicycles and pedestrians from approximately 9:00 p.m. until the end of the fireworks. No fireworks from the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge (Harvard) will be permitted.
  • Memorial Drive from Massachusetts Avenue to the BU Bridge closed to vehicular traffic as of 4 p.m. Car access will be permitted for guests traveling to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hyatt guests will be directed to the Vassar Street closure.
  • Vassar Street in Cambridge, from Massachusetts Avenue to Memorial Drive, closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 4:00 p.m. Access will be permitted to residents and Hyatt guests.
  • Cambridge Parkway closed to vehicular traffic from 4:00 p.m. (except: it will remain open to vehicles with handicapped placards/plaques only). All vehicles must be removed from Cambridge Parkway by 1am on Tuesday.
  • Memorial Drive will reopen from Western Ave to Gerry’s Landing around 10:30 p.m.
  • The Craigie Bridge near the Science Museum will be closed from approximately 10:30 p.m. Monday until 1:00 a.m. Tuesday to allow uninterrupted motor vehicle traffic.

Officials say smaller boats that can pass under the bridge in the down position will be allowed through and all closures are subject to change at the discretion of the incident commander.

Reporting by Mike Macklin of WBZ.

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