Best Government/Public Building: Laredo 1 & 2 Ports of Entry
Laredo 1 & 2 Ports of Entry
Owner: U. S. General Services Administration
Lead Design Firms: Hacker Architects (Architect of Record, Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry); Richter Architects (Architect of Record, Convent Avenue Port of Entry)
General Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie LLC
Civil/Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Glumac
Partner in GSA Mentor-Protege and SBA Mentor-Protege Program: RFB Contractors LLC
Phased construction and consistent communication with government officials allowed for the rehabilitation of two entry stations at the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, without disruptions to operations at the nation’s busiest port.
The $100-million project for the U.S. General Services Administration expanded and modernized two U.S. Land Port of Entry facilities—the Convent Avenue and Juarez/Lincoln inspection stations—to meet the increasing demands of pedestrian and vehicle border traffic.
The historic Convent Avenue inspection building received a complete interior renovation—with new meeting rooms, pedestrian processing areas, interview rooms and offices—and exterior work such as new windows, stucco restoration and roofing.
The Juarez-Lincoln work included building structures offering 70,000 sq ft for inspections and vehicle processing.
A key challenge was to avoid interruptions. Dividing the project into phases allowed the ports to maintain operations around the clock and continue processing their 15 million annual customers.
Daily coordination with government was key to adapting to the port’s needs. For example, when the U.S. in 2015 ended the Cuban Adjustment Act, allowing Cubans who arrive in the U.S. without a visa to become permanent residents, there was a weeks-long influx of Cuban migrants crossing the southern border. The team worked with federal government intelligence agencies and U.S. Customs and Border protection and built temporary facilities to manage the strain on the port.
Through its efforts, the team delivered the project on time and within budget, and port throughput actually increased during construction.