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GSA Breaks Ground on Landmark Green Renovation at San Ysidro Land Port of Entry

Nation’s busiest border crossing construction project to reduce wait times, cut energy use,
and stimulate regional economy.

GSA # 10780

February 24, 2011
Contact: Sara Merriam, 202-501-1231

SAN DIEGO – The U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection broke ground today on a landmark renovation of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, the nation's busiest border crossing. The modernization and expansion of the facility is planned to make it the first net-zero border crossing in the country, meaning it will create as much energy as it uses. The renovation will also reduce wait times at the border and boost the local economy. GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson and other federal and local officials celebrated the kickoff.

“This renovation will boost the local economy and cut wait times at the border,” said Johnson. “We will be investing in innovative green technologies that will make San Ysidro the first net-zero energy land port of entry. It will be a model for other land ports across the country.”

The San Ysidro renovation is planned to incorporate innovative green features such as solar panels, solar thermal hot water, a geothermal heat exchange system, and ultra-low flow fixtures that would make it the first net-zero energy land port of entry in the country. The water-saving features will also reduce water consumption by 12 million gallons per year, enough water to supply more than 100 typical households. The project is targeted to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry is the nation’s busiest border crossing, with approximately 90,000 people crossing daily. The renovation is needed to accommodate the ever-increasing vehicle and pedestrian traffic crossing the border. Construction of Phase 1 of the project begins this year with the installation of double-stacked northbound primary inspection booths, which will allow nearly double the traffic to flow through the border crossing by 2014.

“This project will transform this vital port of entry to not only meet the operational needs of CBP to secure the border, but also to provide a much needed improvement to the experience that visitors, families, and friends should have when they come to the United States,” said CBP Assistant Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski of the Office of Field Operations, during the ceremony. “This port of entry highlights the critical importance of cross-border economics and will symbolize what can be accomplished when we collaborate for the good of all.”

Joining Johnson were U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders; and Mexican officials, Baja Gov. Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan and Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante Anchondo.

View photo gallery of San Ysidro Land Port of Entry>>

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