You Asked Mayor Haulman
QUESTION: I would love to know why the parkway is closed to thru traffic on the 4th of July. My family and I drive from Gloucester every year to enjoy the fireworks in Colonial Williamsburg, but it is very difficult to get home. We actually think this causes a bigger traffic problem and there seems to be no logical reason to reroute. 17N is not an issue, it’s 17 S, so why not at least let travelers use the parkway in one direction towards Gloucester?
ANSWER: Dear Ms. Nowak,
Thank you for your inquiry. Since your question is not within the purview of the City of Williamsburg, we solicited some information from both the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the National Park Service. The National Park Service (NPS) controls the Parkway.
The NPS closes the Parkway between the Windmill and Newport Avenue for about 20 minutes at the start of the Colonial Williamsburg fireworks because it is in the fireworks fallout zone.
The NPS and York County Sheriff’s office close the Parkway eastbound and divert traffic off the Parkway before the Route 17 exits once Yorktown is filled for their fireworks. The Parkway remains closed until the traffic gets out of Yorktown. This would, of course, impact travelers coming from Gloucester to Williamsburg via the Parkway, however there are alternate routes available (Rt. 143 to Fort Eustis Blvd to Rt. 17, for example).
I hope this information is helpful, but if you need further information, please contact the National Park Service at (757) 898-2410.
And finally, thank you for visiting Williamsburg – we hope you’ll come back often!
Mayor, City of Williamsburg
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