Police announce July Fourth traffic plan for downtown - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

MAP: SCMPD outlines July Fourth downtown traffic plan

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MAP: July Fourth traffic flow and routes (Source: SCMPD) MAP: July Fourth traffic flow and routes (Source: SCMPD)

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police have announced their downtown traffic plan for July Fourth that's aimed at reducing delays and relieving congestion.

More officers will be on patrol on the afternoon of July Fourth in the downtown area. Those heading downtown in time for the fireworks should expect delays as an estimated 60,000 people will be going downtown.

After the fireworks show traffic, headed to Interstate 16:

Traffic not on Bay Street will be directed away from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to other routes, such as Whitaker and West Bay streets to exit downtown. Westbound traffic on Bay Street will be directed to East Lathrop Avenue to access I-16 via Louisville Road.

Vehicles will not be allowed to turn from Bay Street onto MLK Boulevard or Whitaker Street. 

Key parts of SCMPD's July Fourth traffic plan: 

  • Traffic cannot turn southbound onto Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. or Whitaker from Bay streets. 
  • Westbound traffic on Bay Street will be routed west to alternate routes to I-16 through East Lathrop and Louisville Road or through Garden City. 
  • Parking garage traffic will be routed southbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Whitaker and Price streets. 
  • Alternate routes to I-16 are West Gwinnett and 37th streets. Price Street also can be used to get to 37th Street which will take traffic to westbound I-16. 
  • More signs will be up to show drivers alternative routes to I-16.   
  • Traffic on President Street headed toward Wilmington Island should flow as usual. 

Officers will be helping to control traffic and prevent bottlenecks at intersections in the festival area and on Hutchinson Island. 

Police are asking drivers to be vigilant, patient and cooperative. Officers directing traffic will not be able to stop to answer questions, according to the SCMPD.   

Public parking lots on River Street will be closed starting at 3 a.m. Thursday and will stay closed until early Sunday for the First Friday festivities after Independence Day. River Street will close to vehicular traffic 4 p.m. Thursday and will reopen early Friday morning. 

All traffic and parking laws will be enforced on Hutchinson Island. Vehicles parked in the roadway or in a way that blocks traffic will be towed.  

Officers will be patrolling to prevent drivers from parking on the Truman Parkway and Talmadge Bridge, which is prohibited.

SCMPD's juvenile officers will be in the area to ensure young people's safety. Curfews, which is 11 p.m. on weeknights, will be strictly enforced for those who are downtown and not under parental supervision, according to police.  

Police are urging drivers to use city parking garages, where they will be get a map showing the easiest routes to leave downtown after the fireworks. Drivers are being asked to plan ahead, expect delays and follow signs.

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