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A traveler’s guide to construction at Calexico West

August 5, 2021

By: Javier Fernandez

Since April 2020, drivers crossing through the Calexico West Land Port of Entry (LPOE) have seen increased construction activity at the port. They may have asked themselves, ‘I wonder what they’re building over there?’ Well, wonder no more. GSA is working on the latest phase of an expansion project that will result in the total replacement of the port.

What may have started off as a few occasional sightings of construction equipment and workers in bright reflective vests has accelerated to a flurry of construction not seen since September 2018 when Phase 1 was completed. Indeed, much of the vehicular infrastructure travelers enjoy today was built during that phase, including the 10 northbound primary vehicle inspection booths, secondary vehicle inspection area, operations building, three southbound vehicle lanes, and bridge over the New River.

Northbound Expansion

An aerial view of the northbound lanes at Calexico
Six more northbound vehicle inspection booths and lanes are being built just west of the current ones.


Drivers crossing on the west side of the port can see construction work just to their left as they approach the primary inspection booths. GSA is erecting a significant earth retention wall capable of supporting the six additional vehicle primary inspection lanes and booths to be built, bringing the total inspection booths to 16. This will increase overall vehicular inspection capacity at the port and help reduce northbound wait times. The retention wall is necessary because there is a 20 foot elevation difference between the bank of the New River and future northbound lanes and inspection booths.

New Administration Building

An aerial view of where the administration building is being built
Aerial image of construction progress on the new administration building.

Travelers crossing on the eastern side of the port can see a great deal of construction activity on the site where the parking lot was previously located. In its stead, they might catch a glimpse of a large cavernous hole in the ground. This construction work is for the new port administration building, primarily office space to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations. After completing initial earthwork and erecting shoring to prevent the perimeter walls from collapsing, the construction team laid down thousands of pounds of reinforcing bars, more commonly known as rebar. Next, they will pour the concrete that will act as the mat foundation for the 68,000 square foot building.

Ongoing Construction

A construction worker installs rebar at the Calexico Land Port of Entry
Construction worker ties rebar that will strengthen the building's foundation.

Calexico-bound vehicular travelers can also observe active construction on the expanded and permanent roadway to Mexico. Construction crews are building the permanent roadway that leads to the new vehicular bridge and the Mexican inspection station, Mexicali I. They are also planning on installing five southbound vehicular inspection booths and canopy.
Construction work on the employee parking lot and the secondary northbound vehicle inspection canopy extension will occur later, as part of Phase 2A of the project, which is expected to conclude in the Spring of 2023. This will provide much needed secure parking for CBP officers and staff that operate the LPOE.

Southbound Improvements

An aerial view of the southbound lanes
Construction work on the permanent and expanded southbound vehicle lanes continues.

“The project team and I are very pleased with construction progress on Phase 2A of the project. Despite the pandemic-related challenges and escalating construction material costs, the project remains on schedule,” said Bob Smith, GSA Project Manager. “By the time we’re done, CBP will have an all-new, state-of-the-art facility with increased processing and queueing capacity for both vehicular and pedestrian travelers. This equates to increased processing capacity for CBP and shorter northbound wait times for daily travelers.”

Phase 2B is part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget request awaiting congressional approval and will provide 12 new northbound pedestrian inspection booths once the building is completed. This will be a 200% increase over the current number of booths, and help make northbound pedestrian crossing faster and more efficient. To stay up-to-date on the latest Calexico West LPOE construction news, bookmark the project website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Last Reviewed: 2021-12-02