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Riverfest 2019: Traffic restrictions and bridge closures

WEBN fireworks 2018
Posted at 5:00 AM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 11:22:52-04

CINCINNATI — Fireworks aren't the only flashing lights this weekend's Labor Day holiday will feature. Add to the perennial riverfront display all the flashing "ROAD CLOSED" signs and blinking brake lights that will illuminate the roadways as crews direct thousands of vehicles in and out of Riverfest.

To get to and from the fireworks -- officials from Covington, Newport and Cincinnati agree -- visitors will need to plan ahead.

The Rozzi's Famous Fireworks show begins at 9:07 p.m. on Sunday, but activities -- along with traffic and parking restrictions and bridge closures -- will begin earlier in the day.

Here's a map locating where to find the restrictions, followed by detailed descriptions below. All times listed are for Sunday, Sept. 1.

Bridge closures

  • The main path of the Purple People Bridge will close to foot/bicycle traffic at 8 a.m., and Pagan's Pass on the bridge will close at 2 p.m.
  • The Taylor-Southgate, John A. Roebling Suspension and Clay Wade Bailey bridges will close to all vehicle traffic at 6 p.m. Pedestrian access to the Taylor-Southgate's western walkway will remain open until 7:30 p.m.
  • The Daniel Carter Beard ("Big Mac"/I-471) Bridge will close at 7:30 p.m.
  • The Veterans Memorial (Fourth Street) Bridge between Newport and Covington will close to all vehicle traffic at 8 p.m.
  • The Brent Spence Bridge will remain open during the fireworks, but access to riverfront areas from the interstate will be restricted.

Traffic/Parking restrictions


  • Access to the Cincinnati riverfront will be limited to pedestrians south of Third Street.
  • The Third Street exit from westbound Columbia Parkway will close at 9 p.m.
  • On-street parking will not be available throughout the Downtown area south of Ninth Street after 11 a.m.


  • All streets north of East Fourth Street and east of Madison Avenue to the Licking River will close to vehicle traffic starting at 6 p.m.
  • Madison Avenue will remain open to allow access to public parking lots and garages until they are full or 6 p.m., whichever occurs first. This area may not reopen to traffic until an hour after the fireworks are over.
  • Devou Park, Kenton Hills and the Bluffs will restrict traffic starting at 2 p.m. Access to these areas will be restricted to residents and their guests only.

Vehicles parked in the following areas will be towed starting at 7 a.m.:

  • Riverside Drive
  • Garrard Street between East Second Street and Riverside Drive
  • Kennedy Street between East Second Street and Riverside Drive
  • Shelby Street
  • Scott Boulevard north of East Fourth Street (including parking meters)
  • Greenup Street north of East Fourth Street (including parking meters)
  • East Third Street east of Madison Avenue (including parking meters)
  • Park Place (including parking meters)
  • Court Street (including parking meters)
  • Surface lots along the flood wall on Rivercenter Boulevard between Madison Avenue and Johnson Street and below the Roebling Suspension Bridge
  • Grass areas in Devou Park
  • All vehicles parked in garages and parking lots located north of East Fourth Street and east of Madison Avenue will not be permitted to leave until pedestrian traffic has cleared.


  • Riverboat Row and Columbia Street north of Fourth Street will close at 8 a.m.
  • Monmouth Street from Third to 11th streets will close at 7:30 p.m.
  • Monmouth will reopen to southbound traffic only starting at 9 p.m. No parking will be allowed on Monmouth Street.
  • North and southbound I-471 ramps to Route 8 will close at 7:30 p.m.
  • 10th Street between Saratoga and York streets will close at 7:30 p.m.
  • Licking Pike at Aspen Court will close to northbound traffic starting at 9 p.m.

WCPO's Brian Mains contributed to this report.