Rep. Scotty Perry (R-PA-4), a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, joined representatives from Aaron Enterprises Inc., Genesee and Wyoming Inc., and other Pennsylvania businesses on April 20 for a tour and discussion of transportation policy at Aaron Enterprises' facility.
The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event. Located in south central Pennsylvania, Aaron Enterprises, Inc., has operated since 1976, serving as a specialty contractor practicing various disciplines related to trenchless technology.
The company has completed several projects for railroads and transit systems including CSX Transportation, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Amtrak and state departments of transportation, REMSA noted.
Aaron Enterprises Vice President Eric Harlacher led the April 20 tour, allowing the visitors a glimpse of the company’s maintenance and fabrication shops, as well as its specialized trenchless equipment used to install underground utilities.
“It was a privilege hosting Congressman Perry, Genesee & Wyoming and numerous local businesses that we work on a daily basis,” Harlacher said. “Our company is dedicated to serving the needs of the entire transportation industry and we appreciate the congressman’s role and leadership on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. It is important our representatives promote policies that promote the expansion of our nation’s infrastructure and encourage technological innovations that will enhance safety.”
Rep. Perry was elected as the United States Representative of Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District in 2013. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee maintains legislative oversight the Department of Transportation, as well as Amtrak, transit and freight rail, REMSA explained.
“Our rails, roads and bridges are critical to the economic success of our region, which is why we must modernize our infrastructure networks, especially here in the commonwealth. Improvements will help ensure that quality, family-sustaining jobs remain available to our citizens,” Rep. Perry said. “I appreciate hearing from so many job creators in the transportation industry and am committed to developing policies and ideas that move our economy forward.”
The group also advocated for support of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which officials say will allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestments to upgrade and expand upon first- and last-mile improvements to transportation infrastructure. Rep. Perry is a co-sponsor of the BRACE Act, REMSA noted.
The group also highlighted increased funding for the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery, the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements and the Capital Investment Discretionary grant programs as part of the recently passed Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Such grant programs fund freight and passenger transportation projects that are of regional significance and enhance safety, REMSA said.
Representatives from several local companies and REMSA were also in attendance at the meeting. In addition to the the transportation industry, Aaron Enterprises serves the water, sewer, oil and gas, stormwater, electric and communications industries, officials said.