Tanker explosion stresses need to reduce industrial traffic in Nations

Tanker explosion stresses need to reduce industrial traffic in Nations (Image 1)

The Nations neighborhood of west Nashville was quite chaotic Wednesday after a massive tanker carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel exploded.

The Nations is an area where residential meets the industrial, and it’s something residents have been trying to change for several years.

“We have been in heavy discussions for at least the last five years with Public Works, trying to get the tankers off of 51st,” said Liz Parrott with the Nations Neighborhood Association.

Fifty first Avenue North is the main thoroughfare through the neighborhood and connects to Centennial Boulevard, a highly industrialized area well-traveled by tractor trailers and tanker trucks.

The tanker exploded on Centennial Boulevard where it intersects with 61st Avenue North.

Parrott told News 2 that as more people move into the Nations, changes are necessary to ensure safety.

Their neighborhood’s association would like to bring a part of 51st Avenue North down to two lanes instead of four. They also want to drop the speed limit.

And ultimately, they’d like to restrict the nearby tanker trucks and industrial traffic from traveling that way.

The explosion Wednesday highlighted their cause.

“People walking their dogs, walking their kids, heavy pedestrian traffic on 51st now,” said Parrott. “This could have been extremely catastrophic and devastating.”

Neighbors are just glad it didn’t happen closer to their homes.

Centennial Boulevard will be closed for several days between 56th Avenue and 61st Avenue following the explosion. The diesel fuel spilled on the road eroded the asphalt and it will need to be resurfaced.

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