Location & Transportation
Due to its sophisticated transportation systems and highways, Birmingham is easily accessible from both bordering and distant states. The city is located within a 500-mile drive to nearly 70% of the U.S. metropolitan population, and has four interstate railroads, five air cargo companies, 100 truck lines and seven barge lines. Major highways that run through or near Birmingham include Interstates 20, 59, 65 and 459, as well as U.S. Highways 11, 31, 78 and 280. The future Interstate 22, to be completed in 2009, will link Birmingham to Memphis, Tennessee and will place Birmingham among the Southeast’s top three interstate transportation hubs.
Those in need of air transportation fly out of Birmingham International Airport, Alabama’s largest airport. With nearly 160 daily arrivals and departures to cities across the globe, Birmingham International serves nearly 3.5 million passengers annually. The airport is located only a few miles from Birmingham’s downtown business district and is adjacent to four major U.S. Interstates.
The Birmingham region is renowned for its excellent rail system. Four interstate rail carriers serve the area, and because Birmingham is the eastern terminus of the Santa Fe and Burlington Northern railroads, goods can be shipped coast to coast without offloading. For convenient and hassle-free travel between cities, passenger rail service is available through Amtrak.
Port Birmingham, the area’s largest inland shipping center of general commodities, offers seven barge lines and provides access through nearly 16,000 miles of inland waterways.