Biden urges more infrastructure investment in TN visit

Vice President Joe Biden called for greater public investment in transportation infrastructure during a Wednesday afternoon visit to a logistics yard in Fayette County, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Dignitaries in suits and railroad workers in orange vests and hard hats listened, sometimes shielding their eyes from the glaring sun as Biden spoke after touring the Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility south of Rossville near the Tennessee-Mississippi border.

In his speech, Biden said America can compete well with any nation in the world in attracting business because of favorable factors ranging from fair courts to productive workers. “But guess what?” he said. “If we do not improve our infrastructure — if we do not improve it — we will not take advantage of being able to lock down for the next 40 years that we remain the best place in the world to invest.”

Biden spoke at the a big logistics yard where cargo containers are transferred between trains and trucks. Federal funds helped pay for the facility.

…The vice president’s visit is one of several he’s making around the country to highlight the seven-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an economic stimulus bill signed by President Obama in February 2009.

The intermodal facility was funded in part by a $52.5 million grant through the program. Most of the remaining cost of the $125 million project was covered by Norfolk Southern Corp., a railroad company…The yard opened in the summer of 2012.

In an intermodal system, the same cargo container can travel by ship, train or truck.