The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) on August 15 officially opened the Main Pedestrian Processing Building segment of its $741 million expansion project. Hosted by U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of Phase 2 of the three-phase job.

The LPOE expansion project is directed by GSA with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as the primary tenant. It is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, currently processing an average of 70,000 northbound vehicle passengers and 20,000 northbound pedestrians per day.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) projects an 87% increase in vehicle traffic in San Ysidro by the year 2030. To accommodate that growth and meet the changing needs of the tenant agencies and the traveling public, GSA is conducting a complete, three-phase reconfiguration and expansion of the port. The scope includes the demolition and construction of the LPOE, including primary and secondary inspection areas, administration and pedestrian buildings, and all other support structures.

During the Phase 2 Main Pedestrian Processing Building portion, the design-build team of Hensel Phelps and Stantec delivered a complete reconstruction of the port’s pedestrian and bus-inspection facilities, which included inspection booths for 18 northbound pedestrian processing lanes and four northbound bus-processing lanes. Designed to LEED Platinum and stringent energy reduction targets, this transformational project enhances the ability of CBP and other federal agencies to conduct their respective missions. Key project components include:

  • Northbound Pedestrian Processing Facility: This building provides state-of-the-art customs facilities and queuing functions for U.S.-bound travelers.
  • Historic Customs House: A major historic building renovation of this circa 1932 National Register of Historic Places building includes a new second story addition on the north wing to facilitate processing for Mexico-bound travelers.

“San Ysidro is the largest and most complex port of entry in the world,” said William Ward, CBP’s program manager in a news release. “Six out of every 10 people that enter the United States whether it be by land, air or sea enter through the San Ysidro port.”

The latest project components support the port’s pedestrian-processing capacity, aided by the completion of the Virginia Avenue Transit Center (VATC) that was completed by the Hensel Phelps/Stantec team in July 2016. Associated with GSA’s West Pedestrian project (PedWest), the VATC provides multi-modal transportation options for the daily influx of 20,000 pedestrian travelers.