GSA and CBP Host Groundbreaking for Donation Project at Los Tomates LPOE
August 12, 2022
Brownsville, Texas - The General Services Administration (GSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Cameron County and the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority (CCRMA) recently formalized a public-private partnership to provide improvements to the Los Tomates Land Port of Entry (LPOE), also known as the Veterans International Bridge (VIB). Through the partnership, the improvements will be donated to the federal government to speed the flow of non-commercial traffic and help alleviate wait times at this busy border crossing. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2022 and it will take approximately 12 months to complete.
“When we engage in public private partnerships, the value of the services GSA provides to our customer agencies like CBP increases exponentially,” said Christopher Anzaldua, GSA’s Donations Program Manager in the Greater Southwest Region. “Basically, it’s a win-win scenario that improves operations and timeliness for CBP and provides a path to economic recovery for the local business economy.”
“This Donation Acceptance Agreement is another great example of CBP and its federal and local partners working together to enhance America’s economic competitiveness,” said Pete Flores, Executive Assistant Commissioner of the CBP Office of Field Operations. “The addition of four personally owned vehicle lanes, eight additional secondary inspection bays, and other infrastructure improvements at Veterans International Bridge will benefit the economy of the local communities by enhancing the flow of legitimate trade and travel into the United States.”
“In 2016 this multi-jurisdictional proposal of border trade connectivity and infrastructure enhancement was submitted and we are now pleased to announce the large-scale improvements at the Veterans International Bridge, also known as Los Tomates Bridge or the Puente Internacional Ignacio Zaragoza, which unites one of the largest metropolitan areas, the Brownsville and Matamoros US-Mexico border region/area. Thanks to the tremendous collaboration from GSA, CBP, and our CCRMA, vehicle commute time and border trade and crossings will be facilitated through our border thus boosting our local economy,” stated Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr.
Through the Donations Acceptance Program, Cameron County and the CCRMA will donate the following improvements:
- Four additional Personally Owned Vehicle (POV) primary lanes with necessary infrastructure and technology
- Eight additional secondary inspection bay spaces with necessary infrastructure and technology
- Relocation of existing secondary inspection areas for buses for safer movement and faster traffic flow in the area
- Construction of a new head house structure
On an average day in fiscal year 2021, CBP personnel at Veterans International Bridge processed an average of 3,035 vehicles per day, including 655 trucks. The donation project will reduce wait times while increasing throughput providing consumers with faster access to business and retail establishments on both sides of the Texas - Mexico border. This project will economically benefit Brownsville and its surrounding communities, as well as the U.S. economy as a whole.
About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of more than 370 million rentable square feet and overseeing approximately $68 billion in annual contracts. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition and technology services across government, in support of the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities. For more information, visit: www.gsa.gov and follow us at @USGSA.