TDOT HELP Trucks Heading to Bristol

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will be sending special “HELP” to the Tri-Cities this weekend to assist with the heavy traffic expected in conjunction with NASCAR events at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17.

Three lime-yellow HELP trucks from Knoxville will patrol the area, assisting with incidents in an effort to keep traffic moving. The trucks are four-wheel drive and equipped with push bumpers, top-mounted arrow boards, emergency work lights, air compressors, and other tools. Operators can perform a variety of functions from clearing a stalled car off the roadway to changing a flat tire.

“TDOT HELP truck operators are trained emergency medical responders, and they do a terrific job assisting travelers on our roadways,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “With large numbers of motorists heading to East Tennessee this weekend, we are happy to be able to provide HELP truck services in the Bristol area.”

Knoxville’s HELP truck operators respond to approximately 25,000 incidents per year. In addition to Knoxville, TDOT has HELP truck programs in Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis.

Other traffic control measures being taken by TDOT from March 16 through March 17 include:

  • TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the region to assist with any other issues may arise for motorists.
  • TDOT will provide portable message signs to warn drivers of any possible delays.
  • TDOT will suspend all construction projects that restrict traffic in East Tennessee from Saturday, March 16 until Monday, March 18.
  • For post-race traffic traveling from the Tri-Cities area to Knoxville, one westbound I-40 lane will be closed in Jefferson County at the I-40/I-81 interchange to allow two lanes from I-81 South onto I-40 West to Knoxville. Portable message boards will be used to advise motorists of these lane changes.

For travel and TDOT construction information, visit the TDOT SmartWay web site at or download the new TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information or can follow us on Twitter at for statewide travel information. Drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly. Drivers should refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. TDOT advises drivers to “Know before you go!” by checking traffic conditions before leaving for your destination.