Pacific Highway Land Port of Entry to be Modernized Under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
February 25, 2022
TACOMA, Wash. -- The Biden Administration and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced today that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden will enable the modernization and expansion of the Pacific Highway Land Port of Entry (LPOE) in Blaine, Washington, strengthening supply chains, creating jobs, and enhancing security and trade throughout the region.
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 eight 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.
“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.”
The Pacific Highway LPOE (PacHwy) is a full-service, continuously operating land port processing inbound and outbound privately owned vehicles (POV), buses, pedestrians, and commercial truck traffic. The infrastructure project will greatly expand the port by adding four additional vehicle entry lanes, for a total of 10 primary inspection lanes. A new canopy and expanded bays will provide for enhanced secondary inspection capabilities.
“It is great to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continue to fund major projects which will strengthen our supply chains, create good paying jobs, and help speed up the flow of goods coming in and out of Washington state,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This isn’t just good for our state’s economy—it’s also a win for the families, workers, and local businesses who rely on our land ports, like the one in Blaine. This announcement sets the stage for more upgrades to our infrastructure, and I’m going to keep pushing to fund projects like this one that bolster our supply chains and in turn lower the cost of goods for people across Washington state.”
By expanding processing capabilities, the port will be equipped to significantly reduce wait times for both commercial and non-commercial traffic. Faster screening times for vehicles reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions due to decreased idling time. The project will also allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to more effectively deploy technology to identify high-risk activity and shipments, combat drug trafficking, and increase operational security.
"Trade and tourism are at the heart of Washington's economy, and I'm so pleased the Biden-Harris administration is investing in Washington state's land ports of entry," said Governor Jay Inslee. "These funds will especially support modernization of the Pacific Highway land port, a vital gateway to Whatcom County that has been hit hard by pandemic-related economic disruptions. These investments support our long-term trade needs, will help strengthen Washington state's supply chain, and benefit businesses. I thank every member of our Congressional delegation that voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that made these funds possible."
In addition to funding for the expansion of PacHwy, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes funding for two other land ports of entry in Washington. The Kenneth Ward LPOE in Lynden will be expanded, adding two POV primary inspection lanes and three commercial inspection lanes. The LPOE in Sumas will be expanded to include one additional POV and two new commercial inspection lanes.
“Land ports of entry in the Pacific Northwest provide secure, welcoming gateways to our country,” Acting Regional Administrator Lisa Pearson said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve so many facilities while providing an economic boost to the region.”
Overall, the legislation will invest more than $200 million* in LPOE projects in Washington. 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.”
PacHwy is one of 26 major construction and modernization projects at land ports of entry that will be funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The average LPOE 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.
These projects also provide opportunities to incorporate sustainability features which 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.
For more information on how GSA is modernizing land ports of entry, please go 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.