View of 4th of July Fireworks on the Mall on July 4, 2011. View from Top of the Town in Arlington, Va. (Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

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With lawn chairs and coolers in tow, the patriotic hopes of locals and visitors at the Francis Scott Key Bridge fizzled out when they were turned away from watching the fireworks display Monday.

 “For the last 25 to 30 years, my wife and I have walked the half mile or so to Key Bridge to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July,” reported Griper Steve Ryan Tuesday morning. “Imagine our surprise last night to find the bridge closed. No notice, no signage, just a sympathetic Metropolitan Police Department officer blocking the way.”   

The bridge – along with the Marine Corps War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Meridian Hill Park and the Jefferson Memorial – are oft-cited DC locales for watching the sky show, especially for those wanting to avoid the shoulder-to-shoulder viewing from the Mall.

 “Thousands of disappointed people, for what reason?” asked Ryan. “I can certainly see the bridge closed to vehicle traffic because of drivers trying to ‘time’ to show and stop on the bridge, but people on foot?”

 We’ve checked in with the District Department of Transportation to see what prompted the closing. Department spokesman directed us to the Metropolitan Police Department. We’ll update you with details.

Were you turned away from the bridge? Where was your plan B viewing spot?

U.S. Marines Jenna Ahles, 20, of La Crosse, Wis., right, and Jack Eubanks, 25, of Kennesaw, Ga., kiss while fireworks explode over Washington while viewing from the Jefferson Memorial. (Cliff Owen - AP )