Biden-Harris Administration breaks ground on $308 million port modernization and expansion project through Investing in America Agenda
New port facilities will expand capacity, enhance security, boost local economy
SAN LUIS, Ariz. - Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with local, state, and federal officials to commemorate the launch of the $308 million project to modernize and expand the San Luis I Land Port of Entry through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, the project will replace the port’s undersized 1980s infrastructure with new, expanded buildings and increased inspection capacity.
Overall, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents the single largest federal investment ($3.4 billion) in non-commercial regional border infrastructure since 1984.
As the second busiest non-commercial port in Arizona, San Luis I currently serves three million drivers and two-and-a-half million pedestrians annually. Once completed, the port will boast a 40% increase in pedestrian inspection capacity and a 100% increase in vehicle inspection capacity while also improving security, alleviating congestion, and boosting the local economy while creating good-paying jobs for local communities.
The project will double the number of northbound vehicle inspection lanes from eight to 16, install a 16,000 square-foot canopy, and support installation of the latest inspection technology to support CBP’s security mission. The project also includes a new 21,000-square-foot pedestrian inspection building, increasing the number of inspection booths from 10 to 14, and improving the flow of pedestrian traffic.
Approximately $100 million in funding through the Inflation Reduction Act will enable the project’s sustainability features. The port’s new all-electric and net-zero design integrates numerous water-saving and energy-production features to meet the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious goals in the Federal Sustainability Plan, which calls for net-zero federal buildings by 2045. These are buildings where the clean energy generated on-site offsets the total energy used, resulting in zero net energy consumption. Additional sustainability features include solar panels and other clean energy sources to reduce the port’s operational emissions, eliminate its reliance on carbon-based energy, and support environmental justice in the community.
The project will also incorporate sustainability elements such as using advanced insulation materials, energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and energy-saving LED light fixtures. Inflation Reduction Act funding will be used to incorporate sustainable asphalt, concrete, and steel construction materials, as identified in GSA’s low-embodied carbon material requirements pilot. These features will make the building more resilient to the location’s desert environment.
Speakers at the ceremony were: Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (AZ), GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, San Luis Mayor Nieves Riedel, San Luis Río Colorado Mayor Santos Gonzales Yescas, CBP Executive Director Donald R. Stakes, U.S. Consul General Laura Biedebach, Consul of Mexico Dulce Maria Valle Álvarez, and Somerton Councilwoman and aide to U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-7), Martha Gonzalez. They highlighted the positive impact of the project on the region’s highly integrated economy, which relies on the safe and efficient flow of trade, labor, commerce, and tourism. All emphasized how a shared vision and binational interagency coordination made the port project possible.
“We must invest in providing border communities the tools they need to thrive,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “With today’s groundbreaking, we are on the path to making that happen. My administration is working hard to ensure we fully leverage the megaregion as a single asset and work closely with our partners south of the border, because their success is our success. This groundbreaking is only the beginning.”
“The San Luis Port of Entry is a major economic engine for Yuma County and the entire state of Arizona. I’m proud to have worked alongside local leaders and Customs and Border Protection to secure the funding needed for these upgrades at the port that will increase trade, decrease wait times, and improve our ability to stop fentanyl and other illegal trafficking across the border,” said Senator Kelly. “The modernization and expansion of the Port is a clear example of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act at work in Arizona, enhancing border security and providing lasting economic benefits for Yuma County and the entire state.”
“The San Luis I Land Port of Entry is a prime example of how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is creating good jobs and strengthening communities all across the country,” said Administrator Carnahan. “With this historic investment, we’re making this project a model for land ports across our southern and northern borders – enhancing security, creating good-paying jobs, and improving sustainability while also strengthening supply chains and spurring regional economic activity.”
“CBP takes great pride in our mission at the ports of entry – which is to ensure national security and promote economic prosperity,” said Executive Director Stakes. “Meeting this critical mission at the ports requires the right balance of a professional workforce, state-of-the-art inspection technology, and modernized infrastructure. The investments made in San Luis I will provide a port of entry designed to increase processing capacity, better detect high-risk cross-border activity, and foster the continued economic growth of the city of San Luis, Yuma County, the state of Arizona, and the United States.”
The San Luis I port is a critical gateway connecting the binational communities of San Luis, Arizona, and San Luis, Rio Colorado, which enjoy a unique social and economic relationship. Together, they represent a dynamic region where a modernized and expanded port facility will further strengthen these bonds, fostering economic and cultural exchange.
"As a border community with a big heart and a great future ahead of itself, a modernization of this size was necessary,” said San Luis Mayor Nieves Riedel. “The modernization of the San Luis I Port of Entry will not just benefit our city but our region. On behalf of the City of San Luis, thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly for many years to ensure this project came to fruition."
Construction is scheduled to last through Fall 2028, with the port remaining fully operational for the duration. Once complete, the new San Luis I Land Port of Entry will provide the traveling public with an enhanced experience that facilitates travel and commerce, and better connects the San Luis border communities.
About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us @USGSA.
About CBP: CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.