Van Buren Group Aids Ailing RITA Budget

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The Western Arkansas Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority (RITA) severed ties with CRS Advanced Engineering, a Utah-based engineering firm, on Wednesday (Oct. 10) just four months after approving the $3,000 per month contract in June.

RITA board members voted unanimously at the regular bimonthly meeting to terminate the engineering contract, but according to RITA project manager Mat Pitsch, the decision was aligned more with the desires of Union Pacific (UP) than any financial reason.

RITA had asked companies to extend truck-to-rail services to the Arkansas River “to tie in to the harbor, and if this project ends up at Highway 59, Union Pacific would be the Class 1 to extend their line,” Pitsch said.

“They (UP) run right up to it (the River), but you would have to extend to the River to get it off there and on to rail. That’s what they (CRS) would have done, is design that piece,” Pitsch explained. Click here to read the full story from our partners at