Crawford County, part of the northwest Arkansas River Valley region, is bound by the Oklahoma border to the west, the Arkansas River to the south and the majestic Boston Mountains, a portion of the Ozark Mountain Range to the north. Van Buren—conveniently located along I-40 and I-540, with Arkansas Highway 59 and U.S. Routes 64 and 71 winding through town—is in the center of all transportation modes: highway, rail and waterway. The east-west I-40, which carries approximately one third of all freight moved in the U.S., will soon intersect with north-south I-49 (now under construction) just a few miles away from the city limits.
Rail service in Van Buren is some of the best found anywhere in the country. The city is served by three class-one railroads; the BNSF, the KCS and the UP railways. Short-line service is provided by the Arkansas Missouri Railroad. Want to ride the rails? The Arkansas Missouri Railroad also provides passenger services for the leisure traveler through seasonal excursion trains.
The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System provides a third option for freight movement in the region. At the Port of Van Buren, two private operators, Five Rivers Distribution and Consolidated Terminals and Logistics provide a variety of shipping, transload, and storage options for commercial freight. Utilization of river transportation offers area manufacturers such as Bekaert Corporation freight service at superior savings.
Air service is just minutes away at the Fort Smith Regional Airport—a beautiful, modern facility. Commercial air service is provided by American Airlines and Delta Airlines to the major international hubs of Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth. General aviation services, car rental and taxi/limousine services are also available. The airport is also the home of the Arkansas Air National Guard.