Congressman David Scott joins NRC & REMSA member Tensar Corporation
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
by: Matt Bell
Section: 2016 NRC Grassroots Events
The NRC's grassroots program was created to invite United States Congressmen to visit NRC member facilities and construction project sites. These visits give the Members of Congress firsthand knowledge of the rail industry and demonstrate how rail contractors and suppliers are positively affecting the rail industry and the local and national economy. If your company is interested in hosting your Congressman for a visit, please contact Matt Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the process.
MORROW, GA – On May 2, 2018, Congressman David Scott (D-GA-13) joined representatives from Tensar International Corporation, Genesee and Wyoming Inc., and other transportation stakeholders for a tour, product demonstration and transportation public policy discussion at Tensar’s Morrow facility.
Tensar International Corporation is headquartered in Alpharetta and maintains manufacturing facilities in Morrow, GA and Charlotte, NC. Tensar invented, patented and is the world’s leading producer of geogrids. Geogrids are relatively rigid polymer meshes used to stabilize and improve the performance of foundation materials below roads and other types of infrastructure. Tensar’s geogrid products allow transportation infrastructure organizations to decrease construction time and economically build better performing and longer lasting roads and structures.
Tensar CEO Mike Lawrence and EVP Global Operations Mark Koepsel led the tour of the company’s production and research and development facility located in Morrow, which is located in Clayton County, close to the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Tensar has operated the 100 percent U.S.-owned and staffed Morrow facility for over 30 years and it is one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the global geogrid industry.
“It was an honor to host Congressman Scott and share our future growth and investment plans for our Morrow facility with him today,” said Lawrence. “We are focused on providing the transportation industry with a reliable product that reduces costs and increases safety on both railways and roadways. We strongly support sound federal policies that encourage growth and innovation in the transportation sector.”
In response to customer demand for its geogrid products, Tensar announced last year that it would bring an additional 35 percent of production capacity on line at the Morrow facility in 2018. Significant growth in Tensar’s TriAx® line of geogrid products and customer requests for new variants of these and other products have also prompted Tensar’s further investment in research and development capabilities at the Morrow plant.
“It was a pleasure to hear Tensar Corporation’s plans to continue and grow their investments in our local community,” said Congressman Scott. “Investments in transportation are critical to Georgia farmers and Atlanta-area commuters alike. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from many local transportation entrepreneurs and I am committed to continuing to fight for a pro-job and pro-transportation agenda in Congress.”
Congressman David Scott was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2002 and is serving his eighth term. In Congress, Congressman Scott has been a leading voice for job creation, increasing access to healthcare and investments in our nation’s infrastructure. He serves as a member of the House Agriculture and Financial Services Committees and understands the importance of rail transportation to Georgia’s farmers. Locally, Congressman Scott sponsors an annual job fair and has helped to secure over 7,000 jobs for residents of Georgia’s 13th District.
The group discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network, which, unlike other modes of freight transportation, does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its network. The group advocated for support of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act. The BRACE act will allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestments to upgrade and expand the “first and last mile” of transportation infrastructure, benefitting Georgia communities and shippers that depend on affordable freight access. The group also highlighted increased funding for the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements (CRISI), and the Capital Investment Discretionary (CIG) grant programs as part of the recently passed Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Together, these grant programs fund both freight and passenger transportation projects that are of regional significance and enhance user safety.
The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event. Also in attendance at the tour were Joe Arbona, assistant vice president, Genesee & Wyoming Railroad; John Bayalis, director of government relations, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA); David Becker, chief engineer – D&C, Norfolk Southern Railway Company; Matt Bell, COO, National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association; Marianna Bryce, marketing communications manager, Tensar; Craig Camuso, regional vice president, state government affairs, CSX Transportation; Scott Edgecombe, executive vice president, Western Hemisphere, Tensar; Bryan Gee, director, education & training, Tensar; Mark Koepsel, executive vice president, global operations, Tensar; Mike Lawrence, CEO, Tensar; Wendy McBay, vice president of marketing, Tensar; Mike Misitigh, rail industry manager, Tensar; Branden Reall, product manager, Tensar; Christy Sammon, Georgia state director, GoRail; Rodrigo Valencia, director of vertical markets, Tensar; Andy Wilson, plant manager, Tensar; and Sean Winkler, director of advocacy, REMSA.
In Georgia, 28 freight railroads operate over 4,400 track miles and employ over 7,000. Seventeen REMSA members maintain operations in Georgia.