TDOT, THP working together to get traffic into festival

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the state Transportation Department have been working together to plan for the Bonnaroo music festival.

The annual outdoor series of concerts near Manchester begins Thursday and lasts through the weekend. The heaviest traffic will be on Interstate 24 near the festival site.

State and local officials have met with Bonnaroo promoters several times during the year to plan traffic control.

T-DOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely says temporary radio towers have been set up to improve communications, HELP trucks are being brought in to aid motorists with car problems and festival traffic will be routed into the right and emergency stopping lanes of I-24, leaving the left lanes clear for through-traffic.

Highway Patrol commander Colonel Mike Walker says keeping the interstate clear and accident free is troopers' top priority.

Walker says authorities expect more than 32-thousand vehicles will be driven to Bonnaroo.

One local resident says all the traffic is no problem for him. Ninety-two-year-old Ollie Cornelison says he's never driven a car and walks everywhere he goes.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)