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Preps Underway For 4th Of July Celebrations Across South Florida

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Preparations are underway across South Florida for the big 4th of July holiday weekend.

Both law enforcement officials and businesses are getting ready for the extra crowds.

Revelers are expected to pack hot spots and hotels, like the Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami and the Biltmore in Coral Gables for a front-row seat to some spectacular fireworks shows.

"It's going to be a great, great weekend. Gas prices are down. The economy is doing well. Miami is one of the hottest, coolest, destinations in the world today," said Bill Talbert with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

There'll be plenty of fireworks and celebration in Broward County as well for the United States' 239th birthday.

All those celebrations mean both the roads and waterways will be packed.

To keep people safe, the U.S. Coast Guard has assembled joint unified force that includes Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission as well as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

The agency is enacting a regulated navigation area from Black Point Marina to the Julia Tuttle Causeway starting Friday at 7:00 p.m. through Sunday at 2:00 a.m.

"Our objective with this speed restriction is to try and minimize any accidents that may happen from folks trying to get to and from the heaviest, congested marinas, folks that are trying to get from the high-density recreation areas and to keep people safe as they leave the various fireworks festivities throughout the evening," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Mike Cortese.

AAA projects nearly 42-million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the busy holiday weekend – the most since 2007 – and an increase from last year.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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