By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — The heat is on for New York's Fourth of July celebrations.
Forecasters are predicting that the Big Apple will sizzle hotter than a backyard barbecue this weekend, with temperatures almost touching 100 degrees.
And, as droves of Manhattanites desperate to flee the heat packed roads, traffic watchers were warning they may be better off turning the AC up high and enjoying the fireworks in the city.
"It'll be busy, busy, busy," Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for AAA, told the Daily News.
He said a 20 percent traffic increase was being seen on area roads, with major delays expected on the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges which have closed lanes.
Despite the heat expected to reach 98 degrees on Sunday and Monday, July 4 organizers are expecting huge turnouts for weekend festivities.
The gigantic Norwegian Cruise Ship, Epic, is set to host the Macy’s July Fourth fireworks festivities Sunday. The 153,000-ton, 4,200-passenger ship will have a one-hour live broadcast starting at 9 p.m. and featuring teen idol Justin Bieber.
The festivities along the Hudson are set to begin around 6 p.m. when a giant American flag will be flown over the river.
Four F-15 fighter jets will soar over the Hudson between 7:30 and 8 p.m.
The fireworks display is set to start around 9:20 p.m. with barges located between 24th and 50th Streets along the Hudson. Organizers said the best views will be below 59th Street.
You can access the show along Eleventh Avenue at the following streets: 24th, 26th-30th, 34th, 40th-44th, 47th-52nd and 54th-57th.
There will be several street closures before and after the fireworks display.
The northbound Westside Highway will be closed from 23rd to 57th Streets from 4:30 p.m. until around 1 a.m.
The southbound Westside Highway from 42nd to 79th Streets will be closed from 4:30 p.m. until around 1 a.m.
And the southbound Westside Highway from 42nd to 23rd Streets will close from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 1 a.m.