EPD announces road closures for Covered Bridge Celebration

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Drivers in downtown Elizabethton will encounter some new traffic patterns later this week as the annual Covered Bridge Celebration gets underway.

Some roads around Covered Bridge Park will be closed to make room for the festival, while surrounding streets may experience temporary closures for specific events, according to Elizabethton Police Department Major Jerry Bradley.

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“They will start closing the streets off Thursday at 6 a.m.,” Bradley said.

The first road closures will be the areas around the park for the festival setup. Those roads will remain closed until after the festival concludes on Saturday night.

• East Elk Avenue will be closed from the intersection with Riverside Drive to Main Street at the Veteran’s Monument. Access around the Monument will not be interrupted.

• North Riverside Drive will be closed from the intersection with East Elk Avenue to East E Street. No northbound traffic will be permitted on North Riverside Drive from East E Street to Mapes Drive. Access to Tetrick Funeral Home will be available from North Riverside Drive and Mapes Drive.

• The northbound lanes of South Riverside Drive will be closed from Hattie Avenue to East Elk Avenue.

• Academy Street will be closed at the intersection with East Elk Avenue. Southbound traffic will be prohibited past Second Street. Residents will still be able to access their homes via the northbound lanes of Academy Street.

• Third Street will be closed from Main Street to the Covered Bridge.

In addition to those closures throughout the festival, there are a few special events on Saturday that will result in some additional road closures.

On Saturday morning, a 5k Run / 3k Walk will take place as part of the Covered Bridge Celebration.

“The race will start at 8 a.m., but we will start shutting everything down at 7:30 a.m.,” Bradley said.

Both the 5k run and 3k walk will begin at the Covered Bridge. The course takes participants along Hattie Avenue then onto Doe Avenue. The route then makes a hard right turn to bring the runners and walkers through downtown on East Elk Avenue before turning right onto South Riverside Drive.

Once back at the bridge, the runners and walkers will split up. Those taking part in the 3k walk will make a second loop through downtown following the same course and conclude back at the bridge.

The participants in the 5k run will continue along South Riverside Drive until they reach Oak Street. From there they will run along Stateline Road until they reach a marker just before the BetsyTowne Shopping Center. Once they turn at the marker, runners will continue back along Stateline Road turning right onto Johnson Avenue. The runners will then turn left onto South Sycamore Street and follow the course to Hattie Avenue. After turning right onto Hattie Avenue, the runners will conclude the 5k back at the Covered Bridge.

During both the walk and the run, Bradley said the roads involved will be closed to through traffic, but residents will still be able to leave and enter their property.

The Community Yard Sale will kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday and last until 2 p.m. The event will take place along East E Street between Post Office Street and South Sycamore Street. That portion of East E Street will be closed during the event, but customers of Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank will still have access to the bank’s drive-thru ATM.

On Saturday evening, downtown will be filled with sounds of revving engines and the flash of chrome as the Carter County Car Club hosts their Saturday evening Car Show.

East Elk Avenue will be closed from Doe Avenue and Elm Street throughout the downtown. East E Street will be closed from Sycamore Street to Elm Street. North Sycamore Street will be closed from the Bonnie Kate Theater to the entrance to the Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank drive-through ATM lane. Armed Forces Drive will be closed from the Veterans Memorial to East E Street.

With a lot of activity going on for the festival, Bradley said officers are asking motorists to use extra caution when traveling in the area, be aware of road closures, and allow extra time for travel.

“Due to the heavy foot traffic be careful and watch out for pedestrians,” Bradley said.

With high temperatures expected throughout the festival, Bradley also cautions those attending the festival to be aware of the dangers of dehydration and heat exhaustion, particularly for children and pets. “Make sure you stay hydrated,” he said.

Bradley also wanted to remind festivalgoers to make sure they lock the doors on their vehicles and not to leave any valuables in plain sight inside their cars. If valuables must be left in the vehicle, he recommends securing them in the trunk where they will be out of sight.