Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will modernize two land ports of entry in Texas:
- The Bridge of the Americas Land Port of Entry was built in 1967. It is on the international border separating El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. This land port connects with the Mexican land port Cordova in Juarez. BOTA is one of four crossings in El Paso. Because this port does not require paid tolls, it has a heavy traffic volume. On an average day, over 600 commercial vehicles, 12,500 passenger vehicles, and 2,500 pedestrians use the port. The LPOE covers about 28 acres and has fully developed property on three sides with an extensive highway system.
- The Brownsville-Gateway Land Port of Entry covers seven acres in Brownsville, Texas. The land port processes pedestrians and vehicles across the Gateway International Bridge in and out of Mexico. The port has been operating since the 1920s. It was updated in the 1950s and 1990s. The site is in a fully developed urban location and is landlocked.
The volume and value of trade at these ports have increased substantially in recent years. Recent supply chain challenges have underscored the importance of strengthening America’s ports, waterways, and freight networks. These projects will help make our economy more resilient to supply chain challenges. Our upgrades will speed up the flow of traffic and trade at these important southern ports.
Jobs and economic impact
Modernizing our land ports will create good-paying jobs for working families and promote opportunities for small businesses. Adding commercial, passenger vehicle, and pedestrian inspection capacity will accommodate more traffic. This benefits restaurants, stores, gas stations, and other businesses in Brownsville, El Paso, and other surrounding communities.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Our renovations will enable a better flow of people between the U.S. and Mexico. This connects our communities and enhances diversity, equity, and inclusion in work, social, and everyday life. Small and disadvantaged businesses will be able to participate in these construction projects. The BOTA project has a small, disadvantaged business contracted to develop an enhanced feasibility study, which will include working with the local community and other stakeholders before setting design options.
When these land ports are more functional, they will sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate human health and environmental impact, and increase the federal government’s mission readiness and resilience to climate change. We aim to provide long-lasting and durable facilities that are sustainable, climate resilient, low maintenance, technologically efficient, and flexible. We are also exploring ways to minimize the carbon footprint of the materials used in the construction projects.
After our projects are completed, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other federal inspection agencies can use the latest technology to identify high-risk activity and shipments, combat drug trafficking, and increase operational security.
The Brownsville-Gateway LPOE modernization includes new facilities for parking, administration, command, kennels, and improved facilities for pedestrian, primary, secondary, and hard inspections.
The BOTA LPOE modernization includes new facilities for administration and improved facilities for pedestrian, passenger, commercial, and primary inspections.