Several street closures and traffic adjustments will be made to provide safety for those viewing and leaving the fireworks.
Bass Pro Drive, directly behind Walmart, will close at 6 in the evening and remain closed until all pedestrians have left the area. The Bob Michel Bridge and all I-74 ramps leading to Riverside Drive and North Main Street will also close for the fireworks.
Deputy Police Chief Rich Broderick says all East Peoria Police officers will be on duty to ensure motorists leave the festival area safely.
“We bring everybody in from our agency to work this to try to make this as smooth as possible. But there’s only a couple of ways in and a couple of ways out, everybody's leaving at once. So they’re trying to get a hundred thousand people out of two streets basically at one time. It’s just the sheer number of people that we pack into the riverfront on both sides of the river, totally prevents a quick exodus from the area.”
Broderick says festival goers should expect post-fireworks traffic delays of up to three hours.
Here are some other traffic announcements people should be aware of if watching the fireworks in East Peoria:
*All westbound traffic on both West Camp and West Washington streets will be closed just prior to the fireworks. Additionally, Bass Pro Drive will be closed directly behind Wal-Mart starting at 6 p.m. The parking area at Bass Pro Shops will be accessible by Riverside Drive. Bass Pro Drive will remain closed until after the fireworks display is over and all pedestrians have left the park area.
*After the fireworks, for those parked in the Riverside Center shopping complex, the roadway between Lowe’s and Wal-Mart SuperCenter will be the official traffic dividing line.
*For those parked on the Wal-Mart side, all traffic will be directed one way out on River Road toward West Washington Street and I-74. Those parked on the Lowes side as well as at Bass Pro Shop will be directed one way out using Riverside Drive toward West Camp Street, using all traffic lanes.
*For those on the Lowe’s side, all lanes of traffic will leave Riverside Drive onto West Camp Street. All Riverside Drive traffic must turn left onto West Camp Street. All traffic will be directed one way on West Camp Street using all available traffic lanes to the intersection of Main and Camp streets.
*Everyone parked at Wal-Mart and in the PetSmart area will use River Road to exit toward eastbound West Washington Street and Riverfront Drive (I-74 eastbound only). The Riverfront Drive ramp to westbound I-74 will be closed until approximately 11p.m.
*The Bob Michel Bridge will be closed for approximately one hour after the fireworks display.
*Clocktower Drive between the downtown roundabout and Camp Street will be closed in both directions starting just before the fireworks display and continuing until all traffic clears. All Levee District parking will have to exit at the intersection of Altorfer and Washington Street, and will only be allowed to travel east on West Washington Street.
*North Main Street (Route 116) between Camp and Washington streets will be closed after the fireworks for approximately one hour. Southbound North Main Street (Route 116) and eastbound West Camp Street traffic will be able to reach South Main via East Camp to westbound East Washington.
*Northbound South Main Street and eastbound West Washington Street traffic will be able to reach northbound North Main Street via eastbound East Washington Street to westbound East Camp Street.
*I-74 west and east will be accessible on East Washington Street and North Main Street. The I-74 west ramp on East Camp Street will also be open.
*Those who park in the lot in the Town Center II shopping center will have to exit traveling east on the Springfield Road extension. The westbound Springfield Road extension at Taylor Street will be closed just prior to the fireworks until approximately 11:30 p.m.