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GSA Announces Opening of Temporary Road at the Columbus Land Port of Entry

GSA Announces Opening of Temporary Road at the Columbus Land Port of Entry

December 14, 2015

Columbus, NM - Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the opening of a temporary road at the Columbus Land Port of Entry (LPOE) to improve traffic flow and safety at the crossing. The new road is east of the existing vehicle entry to the port.

In 2014, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, GSA Regional Administrator Sylvia L. Hernandez, and Department of Homeland Security representatives discussed the need for a temporary road for northbound commercial traffic from Mexico. The new road will reduce traffic congestion and provide a safer area for pedestrians, including children crossing to attend school, who use this facility every day.

The construction of the new Columbus LPOE is in the President’s 2016 budget request. The project will provide expanded facilities at the existing port to handle future growth in traffic volumes and site improvements to control storm water flow.

New Port of Entry Project Facts:

  • The Columbus POE is a full-service port that inspects privately owned and commercial vehicles and pedestrians. Since its construction in 1989, screening at this POE has increased significantly and advances in technology have led to significant changes in the inspection process and global communications and business practices have provided impetus for dramatic changes in trade policies.
  • The Columbus POE is currently operating from outdated, deteriorating facilities that do not adequately meet the functional needs of the tenant agencies. Additionally, the POE is experiencing increased commercial traffic which is expected to grow over the next fifteen years. New and/or renovated facilities are required to provide operational facilities including inspection areas, docks, and support space, as well as address drainage issues inherent to the site.
  • The POE floods during high volume rainfall events. Since 2006, the area has been inundated twice, elevating the flooding problem to the attention of both the U.S. and Mexican governments and the State of New Mexico. Improvements to the port will be designed to protect structures, retain all new onsite storm water, and convey stormwater flows across the site. The site drainage and grading improvements add significantly to the project facility cost but are needed to allow the project to proceed and respond timely to customer needs.
  • Expansions to the POE since its original construction have ultimately impaired future traffic movement throughout the site. It is also notable that efforts are underway by the government of Mexico to relocate port facilities south of the border further east. The construction of a bypass road to access the new crossing is complete. The new commercial traffic circulation that will result from the addition of the bypass road will be accommodated in the proposed port expansion project.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) said:

"This new temporary road at the Columbus Port of Entry is a positive step that will make border crossings more efficient and improve safety for pedestrians. I'm extremely pleased to see the new Columbus Port of Entry making progress. Ultimately the expanded port of entry will help increase the amount of commercial trade between the U.S. and Mexico, improve security and create jobs and economic opportunity. I want to thank the GSA for their continued collaboration with all of the stakeholders on this project."

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said:

“This temporary road at the Port of Entry in Columbus will improve pedestrian safety, expand trade between the United States and Mexico, and better accommodate commuter crossings. As New Mexico grows as an international trade center, I will continue to push for investments in modernizing the Port of Entry in Columbus to ensure our border communities continue to prosper from their unique bi-national culture and economy.”

GSA Regional Administrator Sylvia Hernandez said:

“GSA is pleased to announce the opening of the temporary road at the Columbus Port of Entry in New Mexico. The road will provide for more efficient border inspections and improved safety for pedestrians, including children crossing to and from school. The progress we’ve made on this project could not be accomplished without our partners at the Department of Homeland Security, the Village of Columbus, Luna County, and Senators Udall and Heinrich.”


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