Philadelphia is setting up for a busy holiday weekend, with Fourth of July celebrations across the city, including the Wawa Welcome America concert and fireworks.

Whether you’re staying in Philly or heading out of town for Independence Day, be ready for traffic, SEPTA changes and road closures.

Get out of town

This holiday season, AAA predicts that 84 percent of people in the region who are traveling for the holiday will do so by car, said Jana Tidwell, manager of public affairs.

This means the roads in and out of Philly will likely be more congested than normal and travelers should leave early on the Fourth.

It’s already been a busy summer-trip season, with record Memorial Day travel volume and Independence Day travel also expected to set records, Tidwell said.

“It’s a sign of the economy. When the economy is strong and people have extra disposable income, they’re more willing to spend it on travel,” she said.

Gas prices may also motivate people to travel by car, Tidwell said.

Although fuel prices rose slightly after the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery announced plans to shut down following a massive fire, travelers should still end up paying less for a gallon in the area than they did a year ago. Prices in Pennsylvania on Wednesday averaged $2.92 per gallon, while last year on the holiday they were at $3.02.


For those using public transportation to get around on the Fourth, there are some SEPTA changes to know about.

Regional Rail trains, buses, trolleys, the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, and the Norristown High Speed Line will operate on Sunday schedules for the holiday.

Extra subway and trolley trips will be added to aid the influx of riders leaving Center City after the fireworks and concert. Some Regional Rail trains will also be added or depart later for the post-event rush.

Buses that travel on or near the Parkway — Routes 7, 9, 17, 21, 32, 33, 38, 42, 43, 44, and 48 — will be detoured from 5 a.m. Thursday until 1 a.m. Friday.

Street closures

Many roads will be closed in Philadelphia due to the Wawa Welcome America concert, fireworks and other events.

Streets near Independence Mall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed most of the holiday.

Due to the activities on and near the mall, the following streets will be closed Thursday:

  • Third Street between Arch and Walnut Streets from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fourth Street between Arch and Walnut from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fifth Street between Arch and Walnut from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sixth Street between Market and Chestnut Streets until 3 p.m.
  • Chestnut from Front to Seventh Streets from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Chestnut from Seventh to 10th Street from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For the Party on the Parkway and Fourth of July concert and fireworks, the following streets will be closed from 4 a.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday:

  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 18th Street to Eakins Oval.
  • Eakins Oval.
  • Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive (rear of the Art Museum).
  • Kelly Drive between Eakins Oval and Fairmount Avenue.
  • MLK Drive from Falls Bridge to Eakins Oval.
  • Spring Garden Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and 31st Street.
  • 2000 and 2100 blocks of Winter Street.
  • 23rd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Eakins Oval.

These streets will be closed from 4 a.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday:

  • 1900 block of Race Street.
  • 1800 and 1900 blocks of Vine Street.
  • I-676 on-ramp and off-ramp at 22nd Street.
  • I-76 eastbound off-ramp at Spring Garden.
  • Spring Garden Tunnel.
  • Park Towne Place between 22nd and 24th Street.
  • 22nd between Winter and Pennsylvania Avenue, with local access maintained for Park Towne residents via complex driveway on 22nd.
  • 21st Street between Winter and Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • 20th Street between Arch and Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • 19th Street between Callowhill and Cherry Streets.

Additionally, the following streets will be closed from 1 p.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday, with local access maintained for residents:

  • All roads from Arch to Spring Garden, 18th to 22nd.
  • All roads from Arch to Fairmount Avenue, 22nd to Corinthian Street.

Due to the fireworks show, all roads listed below will be closed from 5 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday:

  • Kelly Drive from Fairmount Avenue to Fountain Green Drive.
  • Lemon Hill Drive.
  • Poplar Drive.
  • Sedgley Drive.
  • Waterworks Drive.