"It hurts everybody." Truck drivers dreading route changes in Odessa

By  | 

ODESSA -- City council could soon restrict semi-trucks within the city limits of Odessa.

On Thursday, council voted unanimously on the first reading of a new ordinance that would only allow 18-wheelers to drive along Interstate 20 and Loop 338.

There’s no telling how many times a day an 18-wheeler drives through the streets of Odessa.

But one thing is for sure, city council wants to see that number drop.

“The number one complaint we hear from our residents is traffic,” said Odessa Spokeswoman Andrea Goodson. “Especially now that the economy is ramping back up, our streets are becoming more and more congested, so eliminating these big trucks and vehicles off of our street, we hope to eliminate some of that congestion.”

Traffic isn’t the only problem these semi-trucks are causing, the city says their roads were never built to handle the weight and stress of the big trucks.

If the ordinance passes it will eliminate the truck routes established late last year, which include Grandview, County Road West and Grant.

It’s a move that some truck drivers like David Wayne are not in favor of.

“We have a certain deadline that we need to make, and [if] there’s a traffic jam on the interstate, then we need to cut through so we can get to our destination,” said Wayne. If we can’t make our schedule then it hurts the company, it hurts everybody.”

However, there will be some exceptions.

“If a truck does have a destination within the city limits, we understand they’re going to have to come within the city, and that’s fine as long as they’re using the shortest route off either the interstate or the loop.”

The city says if this ordinance does pass it will be strictly enforced by police.

If drivers are found in violation, they could face a fine up to $2,000.

The second and final reading for this ordinance will take place on June 27th.

If it does pass it will go into effect 30 days later.