The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has appointed retired Major General Luke Reiner – tapped to be director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation on February 20 – to serve a two-year term as chair of its Special Committee on Freight.
[Above photo by First Lt. Christian Venhuizen, Wyoming National Guard.]
Reiner – who began his military career in 1982 as an enlisted soldier in the Nebraska Army National Guard, relocating to Cheyenne in 1997, and commanded the Wyoming National Guard from mid-2011 until early 2019 – highlighted the importance of freight transportation to rural communities in a July 10 Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearing.
“Significant Federal investment in highways and transportation in rural states is a sound policy that must be continued, for many reasons,” he explained in his testimony. “Consider truck movements from West Coast ports to Chicago or the East Coast. These and other movements traverse states like ours and benefit people and commerce in the metropolitan areas at both ends of the journey.”
Reiner emphasized that about 90 percent of the trucks traversing Interstate 80 in Wyoming have both origins and destinations beyond his state’s borders.
“This is clearly national transportation … [but] rural states face major transportation infrastructure funding challenges. We can’t provide these benefits to the nation and ensure a sufficiently connected national system without Federal investment,” he said.