GSA Launches Construction of Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry
New facility and bridge will greatly expand capacity and provide more direct access between major U.S. and Mexican commercial and industrial centers.
July 20, 2011
Deborah K. Ruiz, 202-253-8807
TORNILLO, Texas – Today, officials from the U.S. General Services Administration, the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection agency, and El Paso County kicked off construction of a new six-lane border-crossing facility that will be one of the largest in the nation and capable of serving commercial and non-commercial traffic. The new facility will safely handle increased traffic volumes and enhance international trade by improving operations of the non-commercial and commercial inspection lanes.
“In an area where international trade between the U.S. and Mexico is only going to grow, GSA is using its design and construction expertise to create a facility that will meet CBP's needs well into the future," said JD Salinas, GSA Greater Southwest Regional Administrator. “At the same time, we are incorporating the latest innovations in technology that will work toward the federal government’s goal of conserving energy and reducing water consumption and protecting the nation’s natural resources."
The three-phase project will replace the nearby Fabens-Caseta International Bridge, which is unable to handle modern commercial traffic. With its six lanes, the Tornillo-Guadalupe port will provide a more rapid route between major commercial and industrial centers in the United States and Mexico. Additionally, new roadways connecting nearby Interstate 10 to the Tornillo port will provide a more direct route for border traffic. Mexico is slated to construct its own roadway network that will also facilitate traffic on their end.
“This new port of entry will serve as a model for CBP and should benefit El Paso County and the surrounding area on many levels,” said Ana Hinojosa, CBP Director of Field of Operations in El Paso. “The port will help the area economy grow while also speeding the crossing times at the El Paso ports as some trade and travel moves east to use this new crossing.”
The project will be managed by GSA for CBP and other federal and state agencies.
With an eye toward sustainability and reducing energy needs and costs, the project will feature building-integrated photovoltaic solar systems, high efficiency HVAC systems, LED lighting, and advanced metering systems and help it qualify for Silver certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
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