Streets to close for Christmas tree lighting ceremony: Pack your patience in downtown Milwaukee Thursday

MILWAUKEE -- Officials with the City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works are asking that drivers pack their patience Thursday morning in downtown Milwaukee.

East Wells Street between North Water Street and North Broadway, and North Water Street between Wells Street and Kilbourn Avenue will be restricted and eventually closed to through traffic for the 103rd annual city Christmas tree lighting celebration at City Hall.

Traffic in and around this area will be affected as follows:

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.:

Eastbound traffic on E. Wells Street: Traffic diverted north and south onto Water Street

Westbound traffic on E. Wells Street: No access at N. Broadway unless parking in the BMO Harris parking structure

Northbound traffic on N. Water Street: One traffic lane open between Wells St. and Kilbourn Avenue

Southbound traffic on N. Water Street: Both lanes open to traffic

3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.:

North Water Street: All lanes north and southbound will be closed from E. Wells Street to E. Kilbourn Avenue

3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.:

East Wells Street: Full closure from N. Water Street to N. Broadway

Commuters are advised to slow down, abide by the detour signage and add extra time navigating this area, or use an alternate route to and from their destinations.

North Water Street will re-open by 7:00 p.m., and East Wells Street will re-open by 9:00 p.m.