Five Border Stations in Vermont to be Built, Modernized Under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
February 25, 2022
BOSTON -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced today that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed into law by President Biden will enable the construction or modernization of five land ports of entry along the Vermont border with Canada – strengthening supply chains, creating jobs, and enhancing security and trade.
The $3.4 billion in direct spending by GSA under the law is estimated to support, on average, nearly 6,000 annual jobs over the next 8 years; add $3.23 billion in total labor income across the United States; contribute an additional $4.5 billion to the National Gross Domestic Product; and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for state, local, and federal governments.
In Vermont, this will provide more than $150 million* to modernize the Highgate Springs Land Port of Entry, one of the busiest land ports of entry in New England. The new facility is critical due to the anticipated completion of Canadian Auto-Route 35 in 2025, which will connect to Interstate 89 at Highgate Springs. The new land port of entry will improve public and officer safety, as well as expedite crossing times for the traveling public and businesses that rely on binational commerce.
“America’s land ports are vital to our economy and our security, with billions of dollars in goods and services crossing our borders each and every day,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “These bipartisan investments are a historic opportunity to modernize our land ports in ways that will create good-paying jobs and strengthen supply chains, while enhancing safety and security.”
Other land port projects in Vermont that will move forward under the bill are: Alburg Springs, Beebe Plain, Norton, and Richford Route 139. Overall, the legislation will invest more than $200 million in the five land port of entry projects in Vermont. Beyond making these border crossings more functional, sustainable, and secure, this investment will also foster economic growth and job creation in surrounding communities.
“Our underfunded and outdated infrastructure has real costs to families, our economy, and our global competitiveness,” said Senior Advisor & White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing in strengthening our supply chains, including our land ports which are vital for moving goods across our borders.”
“As a native Vermonter I know that the border we share with Canada is a tremendous asset, and one that has helped shape the history and culture of our state,” said Senator Patrick Leahy D-Vt., chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Vermonters regularly cross the border to visit family and neighbors, go shopping, or travel to Montreal or Quebec City. The economies of communities on both sides of the border are intertwined. The process for crossing the border has changed in the last 20 years. Yet some of the ports have seen few upgrades since they were constructed more than 80 years ago. There can be significant delays in crossing at peak times. That is why these investments have been a top priority of mine to make sure that the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act will invest in our ports so that we can improve the border crossing experience for travelers.”
“These Land Ports of Entry serve as more than just secure, welcoming gateways to our country,” Region 1 Public Buildings Service Commissioner and Acting Regional Administrator Glenn C. Rotondo, said. “They are intrinsic to the fabric of life and community along the New England border with Canada. We are excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve so many facilities and the economic prospects these projects will bring to the region.”
The Vermont projects are among 26 major construction and modernization projects at land ports of entry that will be funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The average land port of entry is nearly 40 years old and long overdue for upgrades. Investment in port modernization will strengthen supply chains, improve operational capabilities and facility infrastructure, spur economic growth, and bolster the country’s security.
“The long-standing, special U.S.- Canadian relationship is crucial to Vermonters and our small businesses,” said Representative Peter Welch. “Throughout the pandemic border closure, many Vermonters struggled to do business over the border and visit with family and friends in Canada. Now that the border is open again, we need to ensure it runs efficiently for Vermonters traveling to Canada by car, for our businesses sending and receiving goods across the border, and for Canadian tourists visiting our state. This new funding that we passed in Congress will modernize existing points of entry, create jobs in the region, and make it easier for Vermonters and Canadians to move easily and safely over the land border. I am pleased these critical investments will benefit our communities soon.”
These projects also provide the opportunity to incorporate sustainability features that will sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the impact of buildings on the environment, and simultaneously increase the mission readiness of the federal government by increasing resilience to climate change.
Many of these modernization projects will allow CBP to more effectively deploy the latest technology to identify high risk activity and shipments, combat drug trafficking, and increase operational security.
More information on how GSA is modernizing Land Ports of Entry is available here.
*Note: Estimated project costs are planning estimates and subject to change due to time and market conditions.
About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet and overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts. GSA’s mission is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government, in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us at @USGSA.