The Blytheville-Mississippi County Intermodal Authority is capitalizing on existing industry to provide additional transportation options for steel and steel-related companies in their portion of northeast Arkansas. The project includes construction of a slackwater harbor, extending rail lines, connecting to major highways, adding storage facilities and possibly obtaining Foreign Trade Zone status. The Authority is also assisting the Port of Osceola to develop rail access to their port.
With the assistance and advice of consulting firm, Don Breazeale and Associates, the Van Buren Public Facilities Board has established a strategic public/private partnership with Five Rivers Distribution for the development of a truck/rail transfer facility. Five Rivers has invested more than $1 million in warehouse facilities in the Crawford County Industrial Park. With their purchase of the former chip mill property on the Arkansas River, Five Rivers will invest another $3 million to construct a covered dock/warehouse terminal, with one 15-ton crane and one 30-ton crane, on that property. In effect, that will be the "port" component of Van Buren's intermodal operation. While this effort will accomplish the City's goal of establishing intermodal service at Van Buren, the Public Facilities Board will continue to pursue funding for the construction of a much larger intermodal facility in the next three to five years.
The Southeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority, in cooperation with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Federal Highway Administration, is proposing to establish a regional intermodal facility near the interchange of U.S. 278 and the preferred alignment of the I-69 connector. The footprint for the new project will include approximately 90 acres for the intermodal facility, 140 acres of adjacent property for a multimodal industrial park, and an additional 183 acres for growth.
The River Valley Regional Intermodal Authority intends to develop an intermodal transportation and industrial facility on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Components will include a slackwater harbor on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System; service by a shortline railroad with access to the Union Pacific Class I rail line; highway access through a bypass connection to Interstate 40; an intermodal rail-truck terminal; rail marshaling yard; warehousing with rail and truck docks; communications infrastructure for modern freight management systems; a foreign trade zone; and an industrial park for industries that need waterway access.