NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are working alongside Manchester authorities to keep traffic flowing on Interstate 24 while thousands of fans flock to Coffee County for the 10th Annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
The festival kicks off on Thursday night and continues through Sunday, though organizers are opening the gates on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to allow more time for vehicles to enter the campgrounds.
“In the past years, our coordinated plan has worked well to lessen the impact to travelers while getting festival-goers into and out of the Bonnaroo site, and we expect the same excellent results this year,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in a release.
He continued, “As long as the Bonnaroo Festival is held in Middle Tennessee, we will continue to plan ahead for it with the goal of improving our plan each year.”
State Troopers are scheduled to be on site 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday night, patrolling on ground and by air.
THP helicopters are also assisting in relaying important information to marked patrol cars and motorcycles on the ground.
“Our priority is to maintain a safe and secure festival,” stated THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “With the help of TDOT and local law enforcement agencies, State Troopers will work around the clock to manage increased traffic volume on Interstate 24 and ensure motorists are obeying the traffic laws in Tennessee.”
Officials said Exit 111 will be used as the main festival exit, while exits 97, 105, 112, 117 and 127 will be used as alternative exits if congestion begins to occur.
TDOT is also expected to provide variable message signs to warn drivers of any delays.
Festival traffic will also be kept in the right lane or on the shoulder of the interstate, allowing through traffic to utilize the left travel lane unimpeded.
During the event, motorists can call 511 from any mobile or land line phone for traffic updates or visit the TDOT Web site.