U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

GSA Blog

GSA Blog Logo
In photo, left to right: Congressman Henry Ceullar, GSA Regional Border Executive Charlie Hart, Customers and Border Protection Field Operations Director David Higgerson, Port of Laredo Director Greg Alvarez, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, and Ing. Gerardo Talamas Cardenas, Regidor, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

GSA, Congressman Cuellar and CPB Announce Award of Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry in Laredo, Texas

| Tina Jaegerman, Public Affairs Officer, Greater Southwest Region
Post filed in: GSA Feature  |  Public Buildings Service  |  Sustainability

On February 19, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), along with Congressman Henry Cuellar and the Department of Homeland Security’s Custom and Border Protection (CBP) announced the $26.8 million construction award to modernize and expand International Bridge 1 at the Land Port of Entry in Laredo, Texas. This Bridge is also commonly known as the Convent Avenue Port of Entry.

Together with previously announced upgrades to the Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry, also commonly  known as International Bridge 2, GSA has invested $88.8 million in expansion and modernization projects to the two bridges that could create up to 1,400 jobs, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Homeland Security has dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology, and infrastructure to the Southwest border to reduce illicit activities and facilitate legal trade and travel that contributes to the nation’s economy. And this Laredo modernization and expansion project will greatly contribute to this effort by transforming the aging port into a well equipped modern facility.

“GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in real estate for government and the American people,” said Regional Administrator Sylvia Hernandez.  “As the backbone of the federal government, one of GSA’s top priorities is to support economic development and planning in local communities.  The award of the construction contract for Laredo’s Convent Avenue Port of Entry and our continued work on the Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry demonstrates GSA’s commitment to making strategic decisions with our federal partners and stakeholders while promoting economic development. Both projects will help CBP in performing their mission to safeguard America’s borders.”

The work at International Bridge 1 will:

  • Improve the efficiency of the port by re-configuring the main car inspection lanes
  • Add a dedicated bicycle inspection lane
  • Increase the number of permanent pedestrian processing lanes from four to 14
  • Reconfigure the inside of the historic Administration building
  • Demolish the existing secondary inspection canopy for cars and replace it with a new one

The renovations will begin in April 2016 and will last approximately 22 months.