Binational Community Celebrates Construction Completion at San Ysidro Port of Entry
SAN YSIDRO, Calif. -- Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a 10-year construction project at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE).
The $741 million project expanded and renovated the 50-acre San Diego-Tijuana region complex that is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere with more than 20,000 vehicles and 70,000 pedestrians processing each day.
“The GSA project team was able to deliver this important project on time and under budget while maintaining operation at the busiest land port in the Western Hemisphere,” said GSA’s Public Buildings Service Deputy Commissioner Allison Azevedo. “The renovation and expansion of this port will enhance the border crossing experience for travelers and provides the CBP and other federal agencies the facilities they need to conduct their missions for years to come.”
Throughout the decade-long project, GSA worked closely with local stakeholders, regional governments, and counterparts in Mexico during all construction phases. From the beginning of construction on this state-of-the-art public facility, the objective was to minimize the impact the work had on travelers, businesses and the binational community while maintaining operational facilities for federal agencies across the duration of the project. The new, expanded vehicle and pedestrian processing infrastructure now provides the physical capacity to ease traffic, reduce wait and travel times, and delivers mission-support capabilities to assigned federal agencies.
“Investments in border crossings pay dividends in our local communities on both sides of the border,” said CBP San Diego Director of Field Operations Mr. Pete Flores. “We are proud of our work with our partners to modernize the busiest border crossing in the U.S., making it both more efficient and more secure.”
The San Ysidro LPOE, America’s premier land port complex, is a design, construction and architectural jewel spread across 50 acres of semi-arid California landscape at the southern U.S. border in San Diego County. The port has had a federal presence since 1871 and now serves as a synergizing hub for binational activity. GSA’s management of this complex of federal real estate and the construction project has transformed San Ysidro into a destination where federal mission, binational travel, commerce, and transit intersect.
Completed in three phases, GSA’s project-management team and its private-sector construction partners transformed a 1970s-era campus into a technological hub to meet the changing needs of tenant agencies, including CBP, and the traveling public. The LPOE reconfiguration included demolition and construction of primary and secondary inspection areas, administration and pedestrian buildings. The project’s expansion includes a new pedestrian crossing on the east side of the port that connects to a new multimodal transportation hub in Mexico, along with expanded northbound inspection facilities. There is also a bi-directional crossing to Virginia Avenue with an associated transit center and to El Chaparral, Mexico’s border facility. There are now 63 northbound vehicle primary inspection booths and one dedicated bus lane (spread across 34 lanes). The new port also has improved processing facilities for travelers including Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI); and, more than 110,000 square feet of new primary and secondary vehicle inspection canopy that utilizes state-of-the-art materials which both conserve and produce energy.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau noted that investing in Calibaja means investing in both countries. “You are the true ambassadors of Mexico and the United States, uniting two nations. You have become the best promoters of an innovative and developing region, one that is in constant transformation.”
San Ysidro is now the model “port of the future” that uses innovative approaches to conserve resources through the use of water and energy saving fixtures.
GSA’s strategic approaches to the expansion and renovation of the port comes a decade ahead of the San Diego Association of Governments projection of an 87-percent increase in vehicle traffic at San Ysidro by the year 2030.
"Investments made to expand the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry will help lift the San Diego-Tijuana megaregion to the next level," said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. "We're already one of the busiest border crossings in the world with thousands of goods and people crossing every day and now we'll be able to grow our economy even more to the benefit of people on both sides of the border. We couldn't have done this without all of us working together to advocate at the federal level for the funding to get this across the finish line."
“Today, we achieve a great accomplishment for both sides of the border,” said Tijuana Mayor Arturo González Cruz. “We celebrate the completion of a 10-year construction project to expand and renovate the San Ysidro port of entry. For this new administration, mobility is a priority. It will benefit the community who cross the border everyday, whether it is for labor, education, business or leisure.”
Speakers at the celebration included: Congressman Juan Vargas; U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau; Consul General Carlos González Gutierrez – of Mexico, in San Diego; Tijuana Mayor Arturo González Cruz; Mario Escobedo – Secretary of Economic Development, State of Baja; GSA Public Buildings Service Deputy Commissioner Allison Azevedo; GSA Regional Administrator Tom Scott; and, CBP’s Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Todd Owen.