CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — “I like Buc-ee’s. I love Buc-ee’s, but I don’t want a tourist attraction in my backyard,” Lori Bristol said.
Luckily for Bristol, her backyard will continue to remain Buc-ee’s free.
Back in December 2022, it was announced that a new Buc-ee’s would be built just off Exit 1 in Clarksville.
Bristol lives off Tylertown Road and said traffic in the area is already a big concern.
“It’s gotten really busy,” she said. “It’s hard to make a turn out of the neighborhood already even. Constantly there’s accidents (with) people trying to get out of the neighborhood.”
In June she launched a petition sharing her concerns.
“Of all the exits in Clarksville, this is the busiest, and it’s more residential than the other ones,” said Bristol.
On Thursday, Buc-ee’s officially pulled its site review because it could not come to terms with the Tennessee Department of Transportation in regards to traffic improvements.
“I was looking forward to Buc-ee’s coming to Clarksville,” said council woman Keri Lovato.
The gas station chain would have been built in Lovato’s district.
“Was that the best spot?” she said. “Maybe. I think it would have been okay if we could have all come to an agreement on what the infrastructure was going to look like to support it.”
Lovato believed Buc-ee’s could have been great economically for Clarksville, but it also highlighted concerns when it comes to infrastructure.
“We as local taxpayers, we have to decide how much we are willing to pay for Buc-ee’s to profit like that, and I think it needs to be mutually beneficial between the city and Buc-ee’s,” she said.
Lovato said she’s heard mixed reviews from her constitutes about wanting a Buc-ee’s, but also said she’s still open to one being built in Clarksville.
“I hope the conversation comes back to the table but if it doesn’t, Clarksville is a thriving city,” she said.
While Bristol is excited about the news, she hopes leaders can continue to focus on fixing roads and other needed improvements within the city.
“I think we grew too fast,” she said. “I don’t think that the infrastructure is built for the fast pace of growth that we’ve had, so I’m hoping that the infrastructure catches up with the population. I think that it will be fine.”
News 2 reached out to Clarksville Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission Director Jeff Tyndall about the news, who said the planning commission was ready to approve the project once infrastructure needs could be agreed upon.
He said if Buc-ee’s is ready to talk again, they will be here to continue discussions.
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In regards to infrastructure concerns for that area, Tyndall said the Exit 1 intersection with Trenton Road is an ongoing need for the city of Clarksville.
He said TDOT has been designing and working on the road for years, and they are still several years away from seeing construction begin on it.
Tyndall said that regardless of the planned improvements by TDOT, Buc-ee’s would still represent such a travel impact to the area that additional improvements to the roads would still be needed.