Bonnaroo opens gates early to allow better traffic flow

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Bonnaroo will open the gates early this year to allow more time for drivers to get to campgrounds in Manchester. Gates officially open at 8 p.m. central on Wednesday, June 11.

Highway safety crews and state troopers are preparing for heavy traffic during the 2014 Bonnaroo festival. Approximately 80,000 people converge on the festival site in Manchester, Tennessee each year.

“During the Bonnaroo festival, the main goal is to keep through traffic moving smoothly on I-24 while getting festivalgoers safely into and out of the festival site,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.

TDOT will coordinate with THP, the Manchester Police Department, the Coffee County Sheriff's Department and festival promoters to keep traffic moving.

The speed limit on I-24 will be reduced to 55 mph for the duration of the festival between mile marker 104.6 and mile marker 129.4. The speed limit will be restored to normal levels after the festival.

Last year, THP troopers logged nearly 6,000 man-hours, worked 17 traffic crashes (1 fatal, 3 injury, and 13 property damage crashes), and wrote 88 citations and 11 warnings.

2013 THP Citations: Bonnaroo Non-Moving Violations (NMVs)
Child Passenger Restraint Violations - 0
Safety Belt Violations - 9
Driver License Law Violations - 2
Revoked/Suspended Driver Licenses - 9
Registration Violations - 5
Open Container Law - 3
Misdemeanor Drug Violations - 2
Other Non-Moving Violations - 19

2013 THP Citations: Bonnaroo Hazardous Moving Violations (HMVs)
Speeding 22
Driving Under the Influence 9
Reckless Driving 0
Disregarding Signal/Sign Controls 1
Other Moving Violations 4

TDOT and other agencies will be taking the following steps beginning June 11 through June 16:
• Efforts will be concentrated on keeping I-24 traffic flowing.
• Exit 111 (SR 55) 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 congestion occurs on the interstate.
• TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival region, and maintenance personnel will be on call all weekend.
• TDOT will provide variable message signs to warn drivers of delays.
• There will be no construction-related lane closures on I-24 near the Bonnaroo festival area between 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 11 through 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 16.
• 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 low volume.
• Bonnaroo promoters issued early news releases to the trucking industry and other sources to alert the traveling public to festival times, location, and alternate routes.
• Temporary communication towers are in place to improve emergency communications.

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