Former GSA Administrator highlights port improvements at stakeholder roundtable
By Javier Fernandez
ARCHITECT'S RENDERING: Perkins+Will
On February 13, now former GSA Administrator, Dan Tangherlini, met with regional stakeholders at a roundtable held at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) to discuss infrastructure investments at the Calexico West LPOE. Tangherlini talked about the recently announced fiscal year 2016 Presidential budget and highlighted the agency’s proposed construction projects and priorities, which include critical investments on our nation’s public buildings and land ports of entry. GSA’s LPOE program exemplifies the importance of the investment in infrastructure. Land ports are economic engines for the regions in which they are located as well as the nation as a whole through increased trade and prosperity.
“President Obama’s budget proposal is a testament to our commitment to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure for the 21st century,” Tangherlini said. “Advanced funding for the Federal Building Fund will give GSA the ability to plan long-term, providing certainty to communities across the country with pending investment needs.”
The fiscal 2015 budget provided GSA $98 million for Phase 1 of construction for the Calexico West LPOE, the main crossing point which links the Imperial Valley’s important agriculture industry to the Mexican state of Baja California. The port processes more than 11,000 privately-owned northbound vehicles and 12,000 pedestrians daily. Built in 1974, the current facility cannot accommodate existing traffic loads and security requirements. GSA will be conducting a complete reconfiguration and expansion of the port to improve vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The project will also allow Customs and Border Protection to more efficiently fulfill their mission, reduce traffic congestion, and create a safe environment for port employees and visitors.
The Mayor of Calexico, John Moreno, along with a delegation of representatives from the City of Calexico, Imperial County, and Imperial Valley Transportation Commission expressed their excitement for Phase 1 funding and spoke about the importance of the port to their local economy. They also conveyed optimism that the port project would receive funding for Phase 2. According to Mayor Moreno, the long northbound vehicle wait times at the port equates to billions of dollars in lost revenue each year and their local economy will benefit greatly from the Calexico West LPOE project.