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Large law enforcement presence, traffic changes planned for 4th of July festivities in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department is working alongside the Milwaukee Police and other agencies to make sure everyone has a safe 4th of July celebration. 

Tens of thousands of people are expected to watch the fireworks along the Milwaukee Lakefront Tuesday night. 

“We are very concerned about the traffic patterns because the Hoan Bridge will get shut down probably around 9 p.m., the fireworks show will go off somewhere around 930 so people need to get here as early as possible," said Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt. 

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office plans to increase their presence along the Lakefront, on the roads and on the water to keep people safe. 

“We want people to have a good safe time and we certainly want them to be here," said Schmidt. 


Here are the traffic changes that will be in place. 

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office will be closing the I-794 northbound lanes of the Hoan Bridge Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. at Carferry Drive prior to the fireworks. The fireworks are expected to start at 9:30 p.m. All lanes of traffic, northbound and southbound, will be closed during the fireworks and reopen following the display.

Access to I-794 eastbound at the Marquette Interchange will be closed to all vehicle traffic, except buses. McKinley Marina parking will be restricted to those with current season permits or those with legitimate business at the marina.

To alleviate traffic congestion after the fireworks, traffic southbound on the Hoan Bridge will be open for those heading to the south side. Traffic on southbound Lincoln Memorial Drive must take westbound I-94 or head southbound over the Hoan. Westbound Michigan Street and westbound Clybourn Street will be closed to vehicle traffic after the fireworks.

Lincoln Memorial Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic when all lots are full, which in past years has been as early as 5:00 pm. Be advised that deputies may need to divert traffic leaving the lakefront area to ease the expected heavy traffic flow.

Additional information from the Milwaukee County Parks Department website:

Rules for the Fireworks at the Lakefront

  1. Overnight vehicular parking is NOT ALLOWED in Veterans Park on July 2 or 3 -- See the Fees & Regulations and Event Site & Parking Map
  2. Driving a vehicle into the park is NOT ALLOWED (It's never allowed!)
  3. Dropping off passengers on Lagoon Road is NOT ALLOWED on July 3. The Gift of Wings Kite Store parking lot will serve as a lot for vehicles with state-issued disabled plates or hang tags. Availability is limited; when this lot is full, event-goers will need to use general parking..
  4. Using tent stakes or other stakes to mark a "saved" spot is NOT ALLOWED (Staking is never allowed!)
  5. Pack it in, Pack it out! So everyone can enjoy a clean, safe, and fun Fourth of July, the Milwaukee County Parks and the City of Milwaukee's Fourth of July Commission remind you to place trash in the proper containers or to take it with you.
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