NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Highway Patrol have released a traffic plan to help ease congestion for the four-day, multi-stage event in Manchester, TN.
Both agencies are expecting tens of thousands of music lovers to hit the roadways and increase congestion on Interstate 24 from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 16.
“As in past years, TDOT and THP have coordinated with local partners to make sure that traffic traveling through the Manchester area on I-24 can move efficiently, and festivalgoers are able to safely and quickly access the Bonnaroo festival site,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “Because of advance planning, we feel certain that we can successfully minimize traffic delays throughout the weekend."
Gates will officially open for Bonnaroo on Wednesday at 8 p.m. to allow adequate time for vehicles to enter the general admission campgrounds. Troopers will be on hand 24 hours a day patrolling the ground and by air.
“The number one goal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is to reduce traffic related incidents and fatalities,” said THP Colonel Dereck Stewart. “We recognize and value the importance of working closely with TDOT and our public safety partners to create a fun and safe atmosphere for those attending Bonnaroo. So, think twice if you are planning to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and passengers do not get in a vehicle if the driver is impaired. Our Troopers and local law enforcement will be looking for reckless and impaired drivers. Remember to always wear your seatbelt, and do not drive distracted. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is devoted to reducing crashes and saving lives on Tennessee roadways.”
The following plan will be put in place beginning Wednesday through Monday, June 17:
- Efforts will be made to keep I-24 moving.
- Exit 111 (TN 55) will be used as a main festival exit. Exits 97, 105, 112 (temporary exit westbound only), 117, and 127 are alternate exits if congestion occurs on the interstate.
- TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival and maintenance personnel will be on-call for the weekend.
- TDOT will provide message signs to warn drivers of delays.
- Construction-related road closures will be suspended on I-24 near the festival from 6 a.m. Wednesday through 7 p.m. Monday.
- Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking and blocking emergency vehicles.
- Festival traffic will be kept in the right lane and/or on the shoulder of the interstate, allowing through traffic to utilize the left travel lane.
- Emergency vehicles will use county roads with lower volume
- Bonnaroo promoters have notified the trucking industry and other sources of festival times, location, and alternate routes.
- Temporary communication towers have been placed to improve emergency communications.
Last year, troopers logged over 6,200 man-hours, worked a non-injury traffic crash, and wrote over 1,100 citations.