Plans Set For Bonnaroo Traffic

Bonnaroo traffic in 2011

The city of Manchester is hosting the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival this week. Over 80,000 music lovers are expected to attend this year’s festival, which kicks off Thursday night and continues through Sunday night. 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 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 destinations. Area residents are urged to pay attention to those who aren’t use to driving here and be helpful as they help the local economy. During Bonnaroo 2011, troopers logged nearly 5,800 man-hours, worked 20 traffic crashes (6 injury, and 14 property damage crashes), and wrote 182 citations and 42 warnings. Officials are expecting over 100,000 people on the Bonnaroo site. Also, for the first time, 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. There will be TDOT HELP trucks on-site beginning June 6 through June 11. This year’s event features entertainment from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beach Boys, Phish, and legendary music icon Kenny Rogers.