The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is getting ready for the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival, which has been bringing tens of thousands of music lovers to Manchester, Tennessee since 2002. Festivalgoers camp out on a 700 acre farm from Thursday evening, June 7th to Sunday evening, June 10th.
As the area prepares for the multi-stage festival, TDOT and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) are partnering with the Manchester Police Department and Coffee County Sheriff's Department to prevent any traffic delays. TDOT Help Trucks will also be assisting with managing traffic.
TDOT says its main priority is to keep traffic moving on I-24 while getting Bonaroo attendees to the festival safely.
Exit 111 will be used as the main festival exit. Exits 97, 105, 112 (temporary exit on westbound side only), 117, and 127 are alternate exits if the interstate gets backed up. Emergency vehicles will use country roads where traffic will be kept minimum.
“TDOT has once again coordinated with our partners at THP and other agencies to ensure safe, efficient travel during the Bonnaroo festival,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “The main objective is to keep through traffic moving smoothly on I?24 while getting festivalgoers safely into and out of the Bonnaroo site. Because of advance planning, we feel certain that we can successfully minimize traffic delays throughout the weekend as we have in past years.”
This year, gates will officially open at 8 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, June 6th to allow more time for cars to enter the campsite. State Troopers will also patrol on the ground and in the air for 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday evening.
Last year, state troopers worked 6,240 hours and gave out 1,066 citations. Over half of the citations were seat belt violations and speeding tickets. They also worked 6 crashes, none of which were fatal.
“The number one goal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is to reduce traffic related incidents and fatalities,” said THP Colonel Dereck Stewart. “I have emphasized a statewide priority to our captains the importance of working closely with TDOT and our public safety partners. So think twice if you are planning to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, because troopers and local law enforcement will be looking for you. Always wear your seat belt, and do not drive distracted. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is committed more than ever to reducing crashes and saving lives on Tennessee roadways.”
If you're travelling and in need of assistance, dial *THP (*847) for THP dispatch, and the operator will send a state trouper to your location.