Traffic & Access Restrictions for Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular from July 3 – July 5

Department of Conservation and RecreationThe Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will close portions of Storrow Drive in Boston, Memorial Drive in Cambridge, the Longfellow Bridge and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge to accommodate spectators expected for the July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell. Additionally, over the course of the events, DCR will open and close areas of the Esplanade section of the Charles River Reservation to bikers and pedestrians for event preparation, the events and their cleanup. Clean-up of the area will begin 30 minutes after the last firework on July 4. All roadways will remain closed until the clean-up is complete, which is expected to be Friday morning, July 5.

Please read the complete list of the vehicular traffic, parking and other access restriction details below:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

12:01 AM: NO parking on Mugar Way until 8:00 AM on July 5. All vehicles shall be removed.

6:00 AM: The right lane of Storrow Drive westbound will be closed to allow for event related permitted activity from the Longfellow Bridge to the Fiedler Footbridge. Vehicular traffic will continue eastbound on all lanes and west bound on Storrow Drive left lane until noon.

7:30 AM: The enhanced security area of the Esplanade between Community Boating and Dartmouth Street, including the Hatch Memorial Shell and the Oval, shall close to all pedestrians and cyclists. Park users will be detoured off the Esplanade at the Dartmouth Street Footbridge and the Community Footbridge at Charles Circle. The Fiedler Footbridge from Beacon Street to the Esplanade will also close at this time.

12:00 PM: Storrow Drive East and West closes from Charles Street Circle to the Bowker Overpass (just past the Mass. Ave Bridge, connecting to Charlesgate and the Fenway), until July 5. Mugar Way at Beacon Street closes to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Berkley Street at Beacon St closes to vehicular traffic. Pedestrians will be directed to Berkley Street for entrance to the Esplanade.

4pm: Oval opens to Rehearsal Concert attendees

Attendees may NOT bring tents/canopies on July 3.

7:30 PM Pops Rehearsal Concert Begins at Hatch Memorial Shell

9:00 PM Concert ends. Oval again closes to public for cleanup and preparation for the next day’s events.

There are no fireworks during the July 3rd’s rehearsal Concert.

Thursday, July 4, 2013: Independence Day

12:01 AM: No parking will be allowed on Memorial Drive (either side) from #450 Memorial Drive to the Longfellow Bridge; #1 Memorial Drive; Cambridge Parkway; Riverside Boat Club and Magazine Beach/Pool, AND #1 Land Blvd.

7:00 AM: Closure of Storrow Drive extends: no access to Storrow Drive (east and westbound) will be allowed between Leverett Circle and Bowker Overpass. The Storrow Drive exit ramp (Liberty Tunnel) from the Tip O’Neil Tunnel shall be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles. Traffic will be allowed to travel on Msgr. O’Brien Highway to Cambridge and Martha Road to Boston.

The Community Footbridge at Charles Street Circle to the Esplanade shall be closed.

Mugar Way at Beacon Street shall be closed to all pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians wishing to enter the Esplanade will be directed down Beacon Street to Berkeley Street for entry.

10:00 AM: The right lane of the Charles River Dam Road and Craigie Draw Bridge shall be closed from Museum Way to Leverett Circle. This lane will be designed for emergency vehicles and event staff.

3:00 PM: No access to Storrow Drive westbound from the Bowker Overpass at Kenmore Square and no access to Storrow Drive westbound from the Beacon St. on-ramp under the Bowker overpass.

4:00 PM: Memorial Drive will close eastbound and westbound between the BU Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge. All side streets in the City of Cambridge leading to Memorial Drive will close. This includes: Main Street from Third Street to the Longfellow Bridge; Ames Street from Main Street to Memorial Drive; Wadsworth and Amherst Streets; Land Boulevard from Binney Street to Longfellow Bridge; Hayward Street; Carlton Street; Charlotte’s Way; and Dock Street. Vehicle access to One Memorial Drive will be allowed by permit only.

4:00 PM: No access to the Harvard (aka Mass. Ave.) Bridge for vehicles or pedestrians from Beacon Street in Boston to Vassar Street in Cambridge. Vassar Street in Cambridge will close from Mass. Ave. to Memorial Drive. Local resident access will be allowed.

The Longfellow Bridge will close outbound (Boston to Cambridge) to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The inbound side (from Cambridge to Boston) will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists.

6:00 PM: Local Radio broadcast of the event begins (WBZ AM 1030)

7:00 PM: Local television broadcast begins (WBZ-TV).
Simulcast begins (WGBH Radio 88.7 FM)

7:30 PM: Concert begins.

9:30 PM: Fireworks begin.

10:00 PM: Concert and fireworks end.

9:15 PM: Third Street in Cambridge becomes one way from Main Street to the Msgr. O’Brien Highway. The Craigie Draw Bridge (at Leverett Circle) will remain in the down position for two hours until vehicle traffic subsides. Smaller boats that can pass under the bridge while the bridge is in the down position will be allowed to pass downstream to the Charles River Dam locks.


July 4 Disability/Handicap Parking: Disability/Handicap parking will be available at the Charles Circle LAZ Parking Lot, next to Massachusetts Eye & Ear Hospital, starting at 10:00 AM on July 4, 2012. Mass. only vehicles with valid disability/handicap placards/plates will be allowed to access the parking lot. Parking in this lot will be available on a first come, first serve basis. The lot will close once the lot is full; when the designated disability/handicap area at the Hatch Memorial Shell (Esplanade) is full; or 6:00 PM; whichever occurs first. The MBTA Shuttle Vans (The Ride) will cease operation when the disability/handicap area is full or at 6:00 PM, whichever comes first. Vans for the return trip will stage on the Storrow Drive Tunnel Eastbound ramp. When the area is safe for movement of disability/handicap patrons, patrons will be escorted across Storrow Drive to the staged vans (approximately 10:30pm).

Clean-Up: Clean-up and sanitation operations will begin 30 minutes after the last firework. All roadways will remain closed until sanitation and labor crews are safely off the roadway and DCR’s incident commander has determined the roadway is safe to reopen. There will be a concerted effort to open the bridges and roadways in the following order: Mass Ave. Bridge, Longfellow Bridge, Memorial Drive, Storrow Drive, Bowker Overpass, Charlesgate Area, and Charles Circle. The DCR anticipates all bridges and roadways will be open by 6:00 AM on July 5.

Discourage viewing areas: The viewing of fireworks from Interstate 93 is strongly discouraged and
dangerous. There will be State Troopers assigned to this area to strictly enforce “No Stopping.”

All Media and Media Vehicles must be credentialed by B4 Productions at the Esplanade.

Massachusetts State Police and DCR officials may adjust times of closures in order to ensure public safety.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner John P. Murray the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit Contact us at

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