Government officials hold groundbreaking event for new Columbus Port of Entry
April 17, 2017
Construction begins at new Port of Entry in Columbus
COLUMBUS, NM -- Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Senator Tom Udall, Senator Martin Heinrich, Congressman Steve Pearce, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the State of New Mexico and the Village of Columbus join for the groundbreaking of the new Columbus Port of Entry (POE). The construction of new port facilities in Columbus will assist CBP in fulfilling its mission of keeping America’s borders safe and secure.
The current facility was built in 1989 and was designed to accommodate visitors and a few commercial vehicles entering the United States. Since that time, the port has gained significance in agricultural trade and the number of daily crossings has increased substantially including pedestrian traffic.
The new POE will be larger and more efficient and will include:
- new administration building with expanded pedestrian inspection area
- primary and secondary passenger vehicle inspection facilities
- commercial primary and exit booths
- cargo building and dock connected to the administration building
- expanded outside vehicle parking
- seized vehicle processing area
- export cargo booths
- non-intrusive inspection building
- bulk cargo area
- hazardous materials containment area.
Additionally, the following areas will be expanded:
- 3 privately owned vehicle lanes (currently 2 lanes)
- 1 commercial lane (currently no lanes)
- 2 pedestrian lanes (currently 1 lane)
- 14 commercial dock spaces (currently 6 spaces)
Construction has begun and is expected to completed in February 2019.
GSA Acting Regional Administrator Jim Weller:
“GSA’s mission is to deliver the best value in real estate to government and the American people. Through the partnerships we’ve developed at the federal, state and local levels, the new Columbus Port of Entry will be a 21st century facility that will benefit the Customs and Border Protection, its sister agencies and the community of users who pass through it every day.”
Senator Tom Udall:
"The new and expanded Columbus Port of Entry is a much-needed investment in New Mexico's economy and security along the southern border, and I have been proud to work with the Village of Columbus, Luna County and the GSA to make this groundbreaking possible. The Columbus Port of Entry is an important gateway between New Mexico and Mexico, our state’s largest trading partner. Replacing the aging infrastructure and expanding the port will dramatically increase efficiency and expand trade, tourism, and commerce with Mexico — and improve safety for our Customs and Border Protection agents. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue working with our border communities to fight for federal funding that expands economic opportunity and ensures our border is as safe and efficient as possible."
Senator Martin Heinrich:
“I was proud to work with the entire community in Luna County to secure the resources to make this major project a reality. Columbus has a storied history as a community on the border between two nations. A modern, full service Columbus Port of Entry will help U.S. Customs and Border Protection meet security needs and efficiently accommodate cross-border traffic. A new and expanded port can also serve as a catalyst for new commercial trade-related jobs. I will continue fighting for smart investments to improve infrastructure in New Mexico’s border communities with the goal of enhancing border security, improving transportation safety for families in the region, and boosting the region's trade competitiveness to create jobs and grow the border economy.”
Congressman Steve Pearce:
“The new Columbus Port of Entry is a key investment for Luna County. Not only will the new port aid in the overall strategy to secure our southern border and keep communities in New Mexico safe, but it will increase the economic opportunity for Columbus and the County. This groundbreaking reaffirms our shared commitment to improving Customs and Border Patrol’s ability to effectively and efficiently complete its inspections at the Columbus crossing, while not interfering with trade and commerce.”
Custom and Border Protection Port Director Robert Reza:
“The new port of entry will assist our officers in being more efficient in processing both private and commercial traffic, while maintaining our vital homeland security mission. Many of the CBP employees who work here at the Columbus Port of Entry also live in the surrounding communities. We have a personal interest in being the best we can be, and this new facility will help us in that endeavor.”
Governor Susana Martinez:
“As New Mexico continues to build on our momentum in growing as a leader in international commerce and trade, our border region is the epicenter of our fight to grow and diversify our economy. We welcome this new port of entry to Columbus, and are excited about the role it will play in supporting trade, and helping to create more jobs and opportunity for New Mexicans.”