CBP unveils plan to modernize U.S. land ports of entry

Published 10 April 2009

Funds from the stimulus package — $720 million to be exact — will be directed toward address infrastructure needs at ports of entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBPannounced funding received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act, aka “stimulus package”)) to help modernize land ports of entry in order to increase security and boost in national and local economies. $720 million of the Recovery Act was dedicated by Congress to upgrade port facilities, some of which were built before the Second World War. “CBP along with our partners at GSA will use these funds to enhance technology and modernize infrastructure at land ports of entry to improve our capacity for facilitating growing trade and travel. Our mission requires facilities that meet modern demands,” said Acting Commissioner Jayson Ahern.

The program provides additional resources to the multi-year modernization strategy that includes a total of 43 CBP-owned land ports of entry, which are primarily along the northern border of the United States. Additionally, the Recovery Act also provides resources needed for CBP to continue deploying cutting edge imaging technologies that allow safe and efficient inspection of cargo and vehicles entering the United States.

Beginning in 2004 CBP assessed all land port facilities as part of an effort to modernize critical components of the nation’s border infrastructure. Modernization projects were determined according to an assessment of conditions at the facilities based on their capacity to meet CBP’s operational priorities and mission. CBP says it will direct Recovery Act investments toward land port facilities struggling with the most urgent operational deficiencies.

Preceding land port construction, CBP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct site surveys for planning and due diligence beginning in early April. Construction will range in scope from renovations and alterations to full facility replacement.

In addition to the $720 million funded for land ports of entry construction projects, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided CBP:

  • $100 million for Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology
  • $100 million for border technology on the southwest border
  • $60 million for tactical communications equipment and radios

CBP will announce more details on Recovery Act projects for Non-Intrusive Inspection, border technology and tactical communications in the coming weeks. To implement Recovery Act construction projects, CBP created a national Program Management Office staffed with experts in various fields to ensure inter-agency coordination and oversight and project management.

Note that CBP will report Recovery Act project goals and milestones on www.Recovery.gov, the federal Web site established to ensure full transparency and help the nation’s citizens access information on the use and results of Recovery Act funding.

Of the $720 million funded for land ports of entry construction projects, $420 million is dedicated for improvements spanning from major construction to minor repairs and alterations at CBP’s 43 Land Ports of Entry (see list here).