Transportation

A strategic location on the banks of the Tennessee River in North Alabama provides Decatur-Morgan County a gateway to markets across the country and around the world.

Our community is a major transportation hub in the Southeast with two thirds of the country's population and three quarters of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. within a 750-mile radius. With excellent transportation infrastructure available throughout the county, our industries have the advantage of highway, railway, waterway and airway shipment options.


 

  • An excellent state and county highway system links every community in Morgan County with easily accessible roads throughout the Southeast. This business advantage allows many industries within Morgan County to implement just-in-time delivery practices.

    • U.S. 31, a four-lane, north-south highway, travels through Decatur and Hartselle
    • U.S. 72A is the main east-west route between Memphis and Atlanta through Decatur
    • Interstate 65, runs through the center of Morgan County and is part of the interstate system designed to take motorists from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes without hitting a traffic light or stop sign

    Motor Freight Service

    Decatur is the hub of the Tennessee Valley motor freight system with 39 companies linking the area with all parts of the nation. Thirty have terminals in Decatur and second morning delivery is common to major Midwest destinations such as Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee.

  • Access to air travel is easy in Morgan County with just short distances to three international airports and two local airports.

    Huntsville International Airport (20 minutes)

    Located 12 miles northeast of Decatur and 22 miles northeast of Hartselle, Huntsville International Airport provides non-stop service to 11 destinations on six major airlines with approximately 80 daily arrivals and departures. Go to web site.

    Birmingham International Airport (1 hour)

    Located 87 miles southeast of Morgan County, Birmingham International provides non-stop service to 24 destinations on eight major airlines with more than 120 arrivals and departures daily to major cities throughout the United States. Go to web site.

    Nashville International Airport (2 hours)

    Located 120 miles north of Morgan County, Nashville International provides non-stop service to 48 destinations on 14 major airlines with numerous arrivals and departures daily to major cities throughout the United States. Go to web site.

    Local Airports

    Pryor Field, Decatur, AL (Runway length 56100 ft)
    Pryor Field Regional Airport, owned by the Decatur-Athens Airport Authority, covers an area of 200 acres with one asphalt paved runway. It is currently the busiest general aviation airport in the State of Alabama as well as one of the busiest general aviation airports in the FAA's Southern Region.

    Pryor Regional Airport opened in October 1941 beginning operations as a military training base during World War II. Inactivated on December 28, 1944, declared surplus and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers on September 30, 1945. Eventually discharged to the War Assets Administration and became a civil airport.

    Rountree Field, Hartselle, AL (Runway length 3,599 ft)
    Rountree Field is a city-owned, public-use airport covering an area of 62 acres. It has one runway with asphalt pavement.

    Air Cargo

    The International Intermodal Center is located 12 miles northeast of Decatur and 22 miles northeast of Hartselle. The airport is also home to cargo operators and freight forwards which provide Boeing 747 cargo service to Europe and Mexico. The airport is making minor modifications to its 12,600 and 10,000 foot runways to be able to accommodate Group VI cargo aircraft. Go to web site.

  • Morgan County is served by three public port facilities. The ports at Mallard-Fox Creek and the Morgan County Port Authority Docks offer direct access to the Tennessee River, with a nine-foot, year-round navigable channel. The ports also link the area to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, connecting 16,000 miles of waterways and linking the region with 13 other states and the Gulf of Mexico.

    The facility at Mallard-Fox Creek Industrial Park is part of the General Purpose Zone #83 and offers resident industries a number of shipping and customs-related advantages. General Purpose Zones are specially designed areas that are considered to be outside the customs territory of the United States.

    They provide the following benefits to its users:

    • No duty is ever paid on re-exported merchandise
    • If the merchandise is sold domestically, no duty is paid until it leaves the zone
    • No duty is paid on waste. Duty on scrap is eliminated or reduced
    • Merchandise in a zone may be stored, repacked, manipulated, destroyed or otherwise altered or changed
  • Rail Transportation in Morgan County, Alabama

    Morgan County is served by one of the nation's best rail-barge systems. The CSX Railroad and the Norfolk Southern System serve the area with Norfolk's main east-west line connecting Decatur with major rail terminals while CSX's north-south line links Hartselle. Industries utilize three public barge terminals as well as the "Piggy Back" services offered by rail and barge companies.

    International Intermodal Center

    Located 12 miles northeast of Decatur and 22 miles northeast of Hartselle beside the Huntsville International Airport, the International Intermodal Center is connected to Norfolk Southern's mainline by a direct spur. Two 45-ton overhead gantry cranes work to move containers between rail cars, trucks and air cargo terminals. The center features a 45 acre depot yard with 24-hour security and seven miles of railroad track. Go to web site.