I-40 traffic helps tourism in Hartford, Tenn.

Gill's BBQ open in Hartford, TN near I-40 East (Source: WVLT)
Gill's BBQ open in Hartford, TN near I-40 East (Source: WVLT)(WVLT)
Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 4:39 PM EST
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A whitewater rafting town is becoming a hot spot for people to stop along I-40.

At one of the final exits on I-40 East in Tennessee, you'll find a couple pop up businesses and probably some traffic.

"I noticed during the week it's not been so bad. They're doing a really good job. They're letting everybody pass through," said Eric Creech, a Cocke County resident who is selling his own CBD products off exit 447.

are building a new median wall on the interstate near the TN/NC border.

"But during the weekends, whether it's Saturday or Sunday, it's backing up more because it's a travel day," said Creech.

It causes these small business owners in Cocke County to have more customers.

"It's definitely been a boost for all the local businesses," said Briggs Gilliam, a Hartford, TN resident who has a pop-up BBQ stand next to Creech's.

"It will help us because people will be wanting to be getting off the interstate," said Creech.

This time of year is usually considered a slow season for the town that usually sees most of its traffic during the whitewater rafting season.

The lack of traffic may change in the area with the 28,000 vehicles that travel this stretch daily.

"Kind of lucky I think, sort of fortuitous circumstances," said Gilliam.

Traffic helping tourism in Hartford, TN.

If you want to stop and see the town for yourself, it's exit 447 on I-40 East.

NC DOT construction is supposed to be completed in May.

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