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New entrance open for Speedway In Lights

By Megan Gorey
Published On: Nov 16 2012 09:33:56 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 16 2012 12:29:40 PM CST
BRISTOL, Tenn. -

If you plan on driving through Speedway in Lights this year, first, you'll have to drive to a new entrance.

With about 10,000 cars driving through the Speedway in Lights seasonal display weekly, planners said traffic was becoming a safety concern.

"I live right on Volunteer Parkway and it was ridiculous trying to get home because there was so many people," said Mary Shaffer who was at the Speedway on opening night Friday.

"We had cars lined up a couple miles both ways on Volunteer Parkway," explained Claudia Byrd, Director of Speedway Children's Charities. So, the entrance was changed for this year. "For the safety of those coming to the show, we had to do something so we knew we had to change it," Byrd said.

Now, drivers will enter at the Bristol Dragway on Highway 394, which has less traffic than Volunteer Parkway and there is more room in the new route to prevent cars from waiting on the four-lane. "We can get people in off the road," said Byrd. "There's not as much traffic on this road."

The change to the entrance is marked with lights, signs, banners and a flashing marquee. "I think it's going to bring in more people and the entrance can fit a lot more people in," said Shaffer.

Speedway in Lights will run from Friday, November 16 through January 5 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. nightly. Entrance for cars is $12 from Sunday through Thursday and $15 on Fridays and Saturdays. The ice rink and Chill Hill opened on Thursday.