The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded Clark Construction an $11.6-million contract to construct a new east/west pedestrian bridge at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego County.

The contract was awarded to Clark Construction Group-California, LP of Costa Mesa.

The project is part of a three-phase project to improve traffic flow, safety and security at the port, and will realign Interstate Highway 5 to new Mexican inspection facilities to the west at El Chaparral.

The pedestrian bridge is part of the first phase to modernize and expand the port which is operated by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The full project is currently scheduled for completion in 2014.

During the first phase of construction, the goal is to improve the efficiency of vehicular traffic crossing while addressing the challenges of CBP’s heightened security, and the goal of facilitating lawful travel into the U.S.

In preparation for the lane and inspection booth expansion project, GSA has already taken steps to clear the site by relocating employee parking.

The pedestrian bridge project will provide southbound pedestrian access to Mexico, after which the existing old pedestrian bridge and the administration building over Interstate Highway 5 will be demolished.

The new pedestrian bridge will serve as the southbound access point until a new southbound pedestrian access is constructed east of Interstate Highway 5. This bridge access is also expected to improve pedestrian cross town mobility.

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