Traffic: First major NFL Draft road closures in effect

NFL Draft events won't take place until Thursday, April 27 -- but the first major round of road closures is taking effect weeks earlier.

Phase one started at midnight Monday and will last almost a whole month, until the end of May 7.

Drivers around the Ben Franklin Parkway should watch out for these changes, and get used to them:

--- Spring Garden Street westbound will close at Pennsylvania Avenue.

--- The westbound center roadway of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will keep two lanes open from 20th Street to Eakins Oval. The left lane of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed from East Eakins Oval to Spring Garden Street, and continue to southbound Kelly Drive, where it will open up to three travel lanes.

--- The right two lanes of Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum steps will be closed for the building of the open-air theater, where you'll be able to watch and listen to your favorite young athlete's fate and your favorite team's selections.

--- Southbound Kelly Drive will have a lane drop between 25th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Of course, it would be a good idea to leave extra time because other drivers are sure to be caught by surprise.

Phase two of the road closures will not happen until April 19. At that time, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway's inner lanes (inbound and outbound) will be closed from Eakins Oval to 20th Street.

One of several parking restrictions is already underway. There is no parking allowed on the 2400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue (south side angle parking only), and it'll remain that way until May 8.

Click here for all you need to know about the 2017 NFL Draft and NFL Draft Experience events (April 27-29), including schedules - plus a full list of road closures and parking restrictions, details on free parking, the status of the Parkway's cultural institutions and what the city plans to do for area residents and businesses that may be impacted.