Local truck drivers in favor of a bridge linking Soddy Daisy to - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local truck drivers in favor of a bridge linking Soddy Daisy to Harrison

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Time is money in the trucking business. 

It's why some truck drivers are in favor of a bridge connecting Soddy Daisy and Harrison.

The bridge would link Highway 27 to Interstate 75. 

The project was proposed last year, but was cut from the Tennessee Department of Transportation's project list, because it was too expensive. 

Jeff Oakes, a truck driver for Shah Trucking Company says the cost is worth it. 

Oakes has driven an 18 wheeler for more than 20 years and constantly travels up and down the highway. 

"If we're not moving we're not making any money. You have to be moving to make money that's the main thing," said Oakes. 

Shah Trucking has 11 drivers who deliver products to clients throughout the country, including Cleveland Tennessee. Oakes says he makes the trip to Cleveland up to five times each week.

"Cleveland still has a lot of traffic going up to them. It would be a lot easier to cut across otherwise you either have to come to Chattanooga or go all the way to Dayton to cut across to Cleveland," said Oakes. 

Oakes says a bridge would make a difference in travel time, gas, and prevent wear and tear on his truck. It would also give the company an opportunity to expand clientele. 

"The further I have to drive the longer it's going to take me , which means more fuel costing the company more money. I mean it would save that way all the way around."

Nearly 5,000 people agree. They signed an online petition to support a bridge, but TDOT officials point to 10 years of studies, including one just last year.

READ MORE | Petition circulating to rethink Tennessee River Bridge 

"The estimates in 2009 were 236 million dollars, to 433 million dollars for this project. Really really pricey, and then with the population decreased in the area and average daily traffic county gone down. It would be so expensive to cross this bridge one time," said Jennifer Flynn, a spokesperson with TDOT. 

Drivers still hope for a change in their daily commutes. 

As for Oakes, being faster and more efficient will fuel his passion for the open road. 

"I enjoy it and try to be courteous of other drivers and I take pride in what I do."

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