Binational Community Celebrates Start of Calexico West Land Port of Entry Expansion Project

November 12, 2015


CALEXICO, Calif. — Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of Phase 1 of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry (LPOE) modernization and expansion project. Guests from both the U.S. and Mexico joined GSA, CBP, and a number of distinguished guest speakers, including federal, state and local government leaders, in celebrating the start of construction.

The Calexico West Land Port of Entry (LPOE) is the third busiest land port in California, with 4 million northbound vehicles and 4.5 million pedestrians crossing each year. The current facility’s physical infrastructure, built in 1974, is undersized relative to existing traffic loads. To increase vehicle and pedestrian capacity and support the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to execute its rapidly changing mission, GSA is reconfiguring and expanding the existing port.
The Phase 1 project includes the construction of privately owned vehicle inspection facilities, new southbound lanes into Mexico, and a new headhouse to provide supervision and services to the non-commercial vehicle inspection area. The project will increase operational space, reduce traffic congestion, and create a safe environment for port employees and border crossers alike.

Key Facts:

The downtown Calexico LPOE serves privately-owned vehicle (POV) and pedestrian traffic into and out of the Baja California city of Mexicali.

  • Location: 200 East First Street Calexico, CA 92231
  • Project size: ~ 325,172 Gross Square Feet (including Canopies) ~ 16.5 Acres (Project Area)
  • Phase 1 Funding: Approximately $98 Million
  • Primary Tenants: U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Project Details: 

  • Phase 1 will provide additional vehicular throughput, both northbound and southbound
    • Ten new state-of-the-art northbound inspection lanes
    • Five new southbound inspection lanes
    • Includes secondary inspection areas serving the new northbound and southbound lanes
  • Construction of a headhouse (command center)
  • Bridge carrying southbound traffic across the New River before entering Mexico
  • Site work to accommodate those facilities on the sloping site
  • As a GSA Design Excellence project, the project will include a number of sustainability features designed to reduce the port’s overall environmental footprint

Overall Project Objectives: 

  • When completed, the Calexico West LPOE project will provide the port operations with adequate operational space, reduced traffic congestion, and a safe environment for port employees and visitors alike 
  • Increase vehicle inspection processing capacities at the Calexico West LPOE
  • Reduce northbound vehicle queues and wait times to cross the border
  • Lower idling times for drivers and reduced emissions
  • Modernize facilities to accommodate current and future demands and implementation of border security initiatives, such as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program (US-VISIT), and the Secure Border Initiative (SBI)
  • Expanded infrastructure will have a strong impact on enhancing the regional economy in both cities of Calexico and Mexicali and the surrounding regions
  • The renovated and expanded Calexico West LPOE will reflect the important economic and cultural relationship between the U.S. and Mexico    

U.S. Congressman Juan Vargas, California’s 51st District:

“When the President announced last year that the FY2015 budget would include the $98 million needed for the Port’s expansion, I was ecstatic. Today, one year and 8 months after the budget was approved; I am once again overcome with happiness as we break ground on a project that will positively impact our mega region. I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished together as a community in order to begin work on phase 1. The path toward empowering our region has been shaped by the bipartisan support of my colleagues and the collaboration of local leaders and supporters. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the Calexico West Land Port of Entry project has the support it needs to see completion.”

GSA Pacific Rim Regional Administrator Andrew McMahon:

“It’s through projects like this that GSA has made great strides in modernizing our nation’s federal infrastructure. This project will not only speed the processing of personal vehicles and pedestrians; it will also play an important role in stimulating the local economy through job creation and the employment of small businesses.”

Mr. Pete Flores, San Diego Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

“CBP remains committed to improving the security and facilitation of traffic at the Calexico ports of entry.  The implementation of modern technology, lane segmentation, traffic management strategies, and intelligence-driven operations maintains a secure border and promotes a steady flow of traffic; but infrastructure remains vitally important to our mission.  This new construction in Calexico will be beneficial to our operations and to the cross-border community as a whole.”

Speakers at the celebration event included: Rep. Juan Vargas; Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Calexico Mayor Joong Kim;  Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, State of Baja California; Mexicali Mayor Jaime Diaz Ochoa; Mr. William Ostick, U.S. Consul General in Tijuana; Mr. Carlos Flores Vizcarra, Consul of Mexico to Calexico; Mr. Pete Flores, San Diego Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Ms. Caridad Sanchez, Director for San Diego and Imperial Counties, Office of Senator Barbara Boxer; Mr. Peter Busby, Managing Director/Principal, Perkins+Will; Mr. Chris Chacon, Operations Manager, Hensel Phelps; and Regional Administrator Andrew McMahon, U.S. General Services Administration.



U.S. General Services Administration

The mission of GSA is to deliver best value in real estate, acquisition and technology services to government and the American people. The agency delivers this commitment through six priority areas that include: delivering better value and savings; serving our partners; expanding opportunities for small businesses; creating a more sustainable government; leading with innovation; and building a stronger GSA.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last Reviewed 2015-11-12