The U.S. General Services Administration has announced that 26 major projects will share $3.4 billion that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs (IIJA) Act provides to upgrade and expand Land Ports of Entry—border stations—in states along the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico.

GSA, which announced the funding action on Feb. 25, oversees design, contracting and construction for such border facilities, which house personnel from the Dept. of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection unit and other agencies.

Building and rehabilitating Land Ports of Entry have been GSA priorities for years, but the $3.4-billion appropriations infusion from the IIJA will give the agency’s program a hefty push. The legislation, estimated at $1 trillion to $1.2 trillion, was enacted on Nov. 15.

GSA said in a statement that the upgrades will help speed the flow of freight through the border facilities and also help the Customs and Border Protection agency “to more effectively deploy the latest technology to identify high-risk activity and shipments, combat drug trafficking and increase operational security."

The funding allocations, which GSA announced on Feb. 25, will go to projects in seven states on the border with Canada and three on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Maine and Vermont have the largest number of projects among the states, with five each.

GSA Developing Project Schedules

GSA spokesperson Christina Wilke said in an email response to queries from ENR, "Project schedules are currently under development and will be communicated as planning progresses."

Wilkes added. "In some cases, we're looking forward to having contracts awarded within a year, while others are on a longer timeline."

For some projects GSA has developed early planning estimates, but Wilkes cautioned that those numbers are "subject to change due to time and market considerations." Among the projects in that category are: completing a modernization of the land port at International Falls, Minn. (about $250 million); and a new land port in Douglas, Ariz. (estimated at more than $200 million).

Also in that group are: an upgrade of the Alcan, Alaska, land port, built in 1972, (early estimate of $187 million); an expansion of the existing border facility in Highgate Springs, Vt. (early estimate of almost $150 million); and completing the modernization of the San Luis I land port in San Luis, Ariz. (early estimate of more than $115 million).

The allocations also include completion of the final phase of a modernization and expansion of the Calexico West land port in Calexico, Calif. (planning estimate of more than $100 million).

Wilkes also indicated that other projects among the 26 are at different stages of development and GSA does not yet have planning estimates for them.