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 12th 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 8 p.m. to allow more time for vehicles to enter the campgrounds.
"TDOT has once again coordinated with 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 festival-goers 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."
State Troopers are scheduled to be on site 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday night, patrolling on ground and by air.
"The priority is to make this year's festival safe and secure for travelers and festivalgoers. State Troopers will work to manage the increased traffic on Interstate 24 and provide aerial support to relay important information on the ground. We hope our presence will ensure motorists make smart decisions and obey state traffic laws," THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.
TDOT Help units are scheduled to assist with traffic management during the four day festival and will offer aid to any motorists who need assistance.
The speed limit will be decreased to 55 miles-per-hour on I-24 between mile marker 104.6, just west of Exit 105, and mile markers 129.4, during the duration of the festival.
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.
Last year, state troopers worked 29 traffic accidents and wrote 1,092 citations.
During the event, motorists can call 511 from any mobile or land line phone for traffic updates or visit the TDOT Web site.