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TDOT Prepares for Manchester´s 2006 Bonnaroo Music Festival

Sunday, June 11, 2006 | 07:00pm

Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is preparing for the extra traffic generated by Manchester’s annual Bonnaroo music festival. The 2006 festival occurs June 16 - 18, but strategies for handling the increased volume of traffic have been planned well in advance and will be implemented before the festival begins.

The area in and around Manchester will see much heavier traffic during the Bonnaroo weekend. Travelers on Interstate 24 will be impacted, as well as those using state routes and local roads. State and local officials have met with festival promoters several times during the year to plan for efficient handling of both through traffic and vehicles entering and exiting the festival area.

“Each year the Bonnaroo Festival has been a learning experience for the representatives of the multiple agencies who work together keeping traffic moving,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “We take what we learn and use that knowledge to improve our traffic plan for the next year. Quick and efficient movement of traffic during this time is always our objective.”

The festival gates will open on Thursday, June 15 at 7:00 a.m. CDT. HELP units from TDOT’s Chattanooga office will be in the area assisting with traffic management during peak traffic times. In addition to having HELP trucks on the scene, TDOT and other agencies are taking the following steps on the dates surrounding Bonnaroo beginning June 14 through June 19:

  • Efforts will be concentrated on keeping interstate 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 June 14 and June 19.
  • 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, letting through traffic have the left lane unimpeded.
  • Emergency vehicles will use county roads that will be kept at low volume.
  • Bonnaroo promoters are issuing early news releases to the trucking industry and other sources so the traveling public will be informed of festival times and location and possibly reroute some of their vehicles.
  • Temporary communications towers are in place to improve emergency communications.

For Bonnaroo traffic updates on the weekend of the festival, motorists are asked to consult the TDOT website,, or call the department’s toll-free hotline 1.800.858.6349 for traffic updates.

Click here for the Bonnaroo Detours (June 15-19, 2006) map in PDF format.

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