Manchester prepares for Bonnaroo traffic along I-24

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 19:19:05-04

MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WTVF) — Before the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival workers open the gates, officials said they will ensure traffic flow along Interstate 24 in Manchester.

Gates open Wednesday night at 8 p.m. to allow more festival-goers to enter the campground site. At least 40,000 are expected to attend on the 700-acre farm. Multiple agencies — locally and statewide — will handle the surge headed toward the middle of Coffee County.

“TDOT has once again coordinated with our partners to ensure safe, efficient travel during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival,” TDOT Interim Commissioner Joe Galbato said. “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.”

TDOT will be taking the following steps:

  • Efforts will be concentrated on keeping I-24 traffic flowing.
  • HELP trucks will be on-site patrolling the interstate and state routes throughout the festival region.
  • Exit 111 (SR-55) will be used as the main festival exit. Alternate exits will be used if congestion occurs on the interstate.
  • TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival region, and maintenance personnel will be on call all weekend.
  • Variable message signs will be in place to warn drivers ahead of delays.
  • There will be no construction-related lane closures on I-24 near the festival area between 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 15 through 7 p.m. on Monday, June 20.
  • Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking in the crossovers 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 unimpeded.
  • Emergency vehicles will use county roads that will be kept at a low volume.
  • Temporary communication towers are in place to improve emergency communications.