TDOT And THP Prepare For 2014 Bonnaroo Festival

Monday, June 09, 2014

Since 2002, the small Middle Tennessee city of Manchester in Coffee County has hosted the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.  Held on a 700-acre farm, the festival is a four-day, multi-stage event that showcases a diverse assortment of musical styles and performers.  Thousands of people from all over the country make the yearly trip to attend the festival, and Manchester becomes their temporary home for several days in June.  As in years past, over 80,000 music lovers are expected to attend this year’s festival, which kicks off Thursday night and winds down Sunday night

With 80,000 festivalgoers converging on the festival site, the area in and around Manchester always sees increased traffic throughout the festival.

  As Manchester prepares to welcome a multitude of visitors, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Highway Patrol are gearing up for the extra traffic expected in the area.  TDOT and the THP are working closely with the Manchester Police Department, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and festival promoters to keep traffic moving on I-24 while also getting Bonnaroo attendees to their destination.

“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 has once again coordinated with THP and other agencies well ahead of the festival to ensure that traffic delays are kept to a minimum throughout the festival period.”

This year, Bonnaroo will officially open all its gates on Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. CDT to allow more time for vehicles to enter the campgrounds.  State Troopers will be on-the-job 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday night, patrolling on the ground and by air. 

“We hope our increased visibility on I-24 will have an impact on driver behavior and help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on this major traffic corridor during the Bonnaroo festivities,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Our partnerships with local authorities are essential in making this a successful and safe event.”  

During Bonnaroo 2013, 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.  A breakdown of all THP-issued citations during last year’s festival period is included in this release.

TDOT HELP units will assist with traffic management during the festival and will aid any motorists who require assistance.  Also, the speed limit on I-24 in the festival area will be reduced to 55 mph for the duration of the festival.  The speed reduction will be in effect between mile marker 104.6 (just west of Exit 105) and mile marker 129.4, where the speed limit currently drops to 55 mph to go over Monteagle Mountain.  After the festival is over, the speed limit will be restored to its normal level.

In addition to having HELP trucks on-site, 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.

During the festival motorists should call 511 from any mobile or land line phone for traffic updates or visit the TDOT website at www.tn.gov/tdot where they can also find information on alternate routes.  TDOT is also on Twitter.  For statewide traffic tweets follow TN511 or for regional traffic information follow Nashville511, Chattanooga511, Memphis511 and Knoxville511.  Smartphone users can download the TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs, and information on construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes.

Also, drivers should keep in mind that if they need the assistance of a Trooper while traveling anywhere in Tennessee, they can simply dial *THP (*847) from their cell phone.  They will be automatically connected to the nearest THP dispatch office and the operator will send a Trooper to their location.

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



 
 

 

 


 

  
 

  

  
 




Strung Like A Horse's Midnight Show At JJ's Bohemia

Strung Like A Horse throws down a performance at JJ's Bohemia as some considered it their 4th anniversary. JJ’s was the primary venue where SLAH launched into Chattanooga's "Live" Music Scene. SLAH, features Ms Lacy Jo, dancer with Zanzibar Studio. SLAH members; BJ Hightower, vocal, bassist   Clay Maselle, vocal, guitar Mark Fiddler, vocal fiddle, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – 5 Bands To Perform At Benefit In Ringgold This Friday

The Robby Hopkins Band, Zack Dylan Band, Casey Adams Band, Dakota Williams, and Greg Shirley will all perform at the new Robin Christian Performing Arts Center at RInggold High School on Friday, September 5 in a benefit for Bridgett Coley. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are available in advance for just $10 at the Legendary Ice Cream Parlor in Ringgold, next ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)