BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Ahead of the Independence Day festivities planned for both July 3 and 4, the Massachusetts State Police held a press conference on the lawn in front the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, detailing the safety measures in place for the long weekend.
MSP Superintendent Colonel Christopher Mason took the podium and said security plans include uniformed, investigative, tactical, and intelligence components.
Mason says there will be both undercover and visible law enforcement during the Boston Pops Fireworks and Concert on the Fourth of July. Officials say their Marine Unit will patrol and enforce boating regulations, while Air Wing units will survey the airspace above.
According to the MSP multiple local and state agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been investigating intelligence for the weeks leading up to the events.
Officials say the following items are prohibited for visitors at the Boston Pops concert:
- Coolers on wheels
- Firearms, weapons, sharp objects
- Glass containers
- Pre-mixed beverages
- Plastic containers over two liters and non-transparent containers. (All liquids must be carried in sealed, clear plastic containers two liters or smaller)
- Grills, propane tanks, open flames
- Alcoholic beverages
- Bicycles in the Oval and Island/Lagoon areas. (Bicycles are allowed throughout the rest of the venue but must not be left unattended. Bicycles attached or locked to fences, poles, or other objects risk removal)
- Privately owned drones or unmanned aerial vehicles
The MSP says pop up tents, blankets, and tarps are allowed under a certain size. For chairs, officials say folding or beach chairs are the only types allowed. All coolers should be carried by a shoulder strap or single handle, police said.
In terms of road closures, the MSP detailed that many streets and roads would close for the weekend and remain that way until after Monday:
Starting 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 closes to traffic until 1 p.m.
- The right hand travel lane on Storrow Drive westbound closes at 6 p.m.
Starting Sunday, July 3:
- The Esplanade walkway adjacent to the Charles River will be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists from Community Boating to the Fiedler Footbridge. Detours will be in place, directing the public to walk or bike along the sidewalk adjacent to Storrow Drive starting at 7 a.m. and lasting until 3 p.m.
- The right travel lane on Storrow Drive westbound will be closed from the Longfellow Bridge to the Fielder Footbridge for permitted bus parking starting at noon. Traffic will continue westbound on Storrow Drive. (There will be no public parking along Storrow Drive for either the rehearsals or the concert.)
- Storrow Drive westbound will be closed to vehicular traffic from Charles Circle to the Bowker Overpass starting at 3 p.m. All Storrow Drive westbound traffic will be diverted to Charles Circle. Storrow Drive westbound traffic 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 starting at 3 p.m. This will remain closed until the early morning hours of July 5th. Pedestrians will be directed to Berkeley Street for entrance to the Esplanade.
- Berkeley Street at Beacon Street closed to vehicular traffic starting at 3 p.m.
- Storrow Drive eastbound will be closed and detoured at the Bowker Overpass, starting at 3 p.m. and lasting until Tuesday.
- The exit to Arlington Street from the Storrow Tunnel (eastbound) will be closed starting at 3 p.m. and lasting until 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Starting Monday, July 4:
- No parking on Memorial Drive (either side) from #450 Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge starting at 9 a.m. All vehicles remaining after this time will be removed.
- No parking on Cambridge Parkway starting at 9 a.m.
- Access to Storrow Drive westbound from Leverett Circle to Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass) will be closed to traffic starting at 9 a.m.
- The inbound bus lane on Charles River Dam Road will close from Museum Way to Leverett Circle starting at 9 a.m.
- The Storrow Drive exit ramp in the Tip O’Neil Tunnel will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles starting at 9 a.m.
- The Leverett Circle entrance to Storrow Drive westbound will be closed starting at 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 the MWRA pumping station (Cottage Farm) starting at 9 a.m. There's no boat launching allowed in this area either.
- Fanny Appleton pedestrian footbridge at Charles Circle going to the Esplanade is closed starting 9 a.m.
- Fiedler Footbridge from Beacon Street going to the Esplanade is closed starting at 9 a.m.
- The Longfellow Bridge and Mass Ave (Harvard) Bridge stairs will be closed starting at 9 a.m.
- No access to Storrow Drive westbound from the Kenmore Square (Bowker Overpass) starting at 3 p.m.
- No access to Storrow Drive westbound from the Beacon Street on-ramp under the Bowker Overpass starting at 3 p.m.
- Storrow Drive eastbound will be detoured at University Avenue starting at 3 p.m.
- Memorial Drive closed to vehicular traffic in both directions from Massachusetts Avenue to the Longfellow Bridge starting at 4 p.m.
- Main Street, Cambridge from Third Street to the Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m.
- Ames Street from Main Street to Memorial Drive, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m.
- Wadsworth and Amherst Streets, Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m.
- Land Boulevard from Binney Street to Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m.
- Hayward, Carlton, Charlotte’s Way and Dock Streets in Cambridge, closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m.
- Access allowed to 1 Memorial Drive only with issued permit starting at 4 p.m.
- Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m. Bikes and pedestrians will be allowed to cross the bridge.
- The Longfellow Bridge will be closed to bikes and pedestrian traffic from approximately 9:00 p.m. until the end of the fireworks. No firework viewing from the Longfellow Bridge will be allowed.
- Massachusetts Avenue (Harvard) Bridge closed in both directions to vehicular traffic from Beacon Street in Boston to Vassar Street in Cambridge starting at 4 p.m. Bikes and pedestrians will be allowed to cross the bridge.
- The Massachusetts Ave (Harvard) Bridge will be closed to bikes and pedestrian traffic from approximately 9:00 p.m. until the end of the fireworks. No firework viewing from the Massachusetts Ave (Harvard) Bridge will be allowed.
- Memorial Drive from Massachusetts Avenue to the BU Bridge closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m. Vehicular access will be allowed for patrons going to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hyatt patrons will be directed to the Vassar Street road closure.
- Vassar Street in Cambridge from Massachusetts Avenue to Memorial Drive closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m. Access will be allowed for residents and Hyatt patrons.
- Cambridge Parkway closed to vehicular traffic starting at 4 p.m. (except: it will remain open to vehicles with handicapped placards/plates only). All vehicles must be removed from Cambridge Parkway by 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
- Memorial Drive will reopen from Western Ave to Gerry's Landing at around 10:30 p.m.
- The Craigie Bridge by the Museum of Science will be down from approximately 10:30 p.m. on Monday until 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday to allow uninterrupted motor vehicle traffic.
Officials say Smaller boats that can pass under the bridge while in the down position will be allowed to pass and that all closures are subject to change at the discretion of the Incident Commander.
WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.