This article was originally posted in Transportation Today. To view the original article, click here.
During a recent visit to Luby Equipment Services in Caseyville, Ill., U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), who serves on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, discussed opportunities to develop larger ports along the Mississippi River in order to drive commerce to Illinois and Missouri, and the importance of strengthening the nation’s infrastructure.
The congressman’s tour of Luby Equipment Services’ facilities and a panel discussion took place on May 30 and was arranged by the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), a trade group representing companies that distribute, rent and support equipment used in construction, energy, agriculture and other sectors.
The health of southern Illinois’ infrastructure, particularly its highways, rail lines and waterways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Each year nearly $3 trillion in goods are shipped to, from and within Illinois, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group. The design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois supports about 154,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy, the group says.
Bost, who represents 12 counties in southern Illinois, said he was pleased with the visit to Luby Equipment Services, which deals in construction equipment at six locations in Illinois and Missouri. “They continue to be leaders in the community and I appreciate the good jobs they provide as they service the heavy equipment industry,” Bost said.
Other issues of importance to the industrial equipment industry Bost touched on during the visit included taxes and workforce issues.
David Kedney, sales manager at Luby Equipment Services, said, “The key takeaway was the dialogue regarding the countless benefits from investments in our nation’s infrastructure and roads,” Kedney said. “We feel that having budget stability for larger road jobs will provide confidence to contractors at all levels to invest in equipment purchases.”
“Infrastructure is vitally important to our economy,” Bost said, “and I will take their input back to Congress as I continue my work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”