Not local bribery - but tax revenue for the state of Tennessee. Trucking industry pays a lot of highway taxes. Tennessee does not have a state income tax, and auto tags are still cheap. Revenue is important. I have seen a couple of "parkways" built in the state that did not allow trucks, but that was overturned by the trucking industry - after all, they probably paid for the road.I was told that the big rigs were never legally allowed on the Dragon but that the Tennessee cops just looked the other way. The same cops who were writing tickets to anyone on a motorcycle who crossed the center line on at turn totally ignored semi-trucks who took up both lanes while trying to make a turn.
It sounds like there was some local bribery going on.