Traffic/parking restrictions for fireworks

The M-63 bridge in St. Joseph raises to allow sailboats passage last summer. The Blossomland and Bicentennial Bridges will not open to boat traffic from 10 p.m. July 3 to 1 a.m. July 4, during and after the St. Joseph fireworks. Public Safety Director Steve Neubecker said raising the bridges the night of the fireworks would contribute to more traffic congestion and back-ups. 

ST. JOSEPH — City officials are asking motorists passing through to avoid downtown St. Joseph next Wednesday night to allow traffic to clear through town after the fireworks.

Parking restrictions will be in place below the bluff and in the downtown residential area, and there will be some road closures following the fireworks. St. Joseph Department of Public Safety Director Steve Neubecker said motorists are asked to be patient, and to expect long delays.

The Blossomland and Bicentennial Bridges will not open for boat traffic from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Thursday. Raising the bridges during that time would add to traffic congestion, Neubecker said. 

Temporary no parking signs will be posted in the residential areas of downtown. Residential streets above the bluff, west and east of Main Street, will be posted no parking on the south and east sides of the streets. All alleys will be posted as no parking zones.

Below the bluff, Market, Pearl, First, Second and Third Streets east of Lions Park Drive will be posted no parking on the north side. West of Lions Park Drive, there will be no parking allowed on Second Street and on the south side of Third Street. 

Following the fireworks, traffic north of the river will be detoured north on M-63 to Klock Road. Motorists following that detour should not travel to Main Street in Benton Harbor back to Main Street in downtown St. Joseph, but should find an alternate route. 

Traffic south of the river will be directed onto Main Street from Port Street, Ship Street and Broad Street, and traffic from Silver Beach and Lions Park area using Park Street will be directed south on Lake Boulevard to Lakeshore Drive. 

Southbound traffic lanes on M-63 at Klock Road will be closed for a short period of time after the fireworks. Motorists are asked to find an alternate route, avoiding downtown St. Joseph. 

Contact: jswidwa@TheHP.com, 932-0359, Twitter: @HPSwidwa