U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the City of Laredo are pleased to announce the completion of a large-scale infrastructure improvements project at the World Trade Land Port of Entry (LPOE).
Under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program, CBP, GSA, and the City of Laredo partnered to construct four Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at the World Trade LPOE over an 18 month period to facilitate the processing of commercial truck drivers who participate in the FAST program. The City of Laredo outfitted the lanes with the necessary infrastructure and technology.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to pursue public-private partnerships with local entities, such as the City of Laredo, to strengthen our ports of entry and the surrounding communities,” said Pete Flores, Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations. “These port improvements will assist CBP in processing legitimate trade and travel while alleviating traffic congestions for the trucks and vehicles crossing through the port.”
“This project and others along the southern border benefit from GSA’s Donations Program – in this case with the City of Laredo helping to provide the necessary infrastructure and technology for the new FAST lanes,” said GSA Regional Administrator Jason L. Shelton. “GSA and our partners are proud to creatively deliver on this project that helps support CBP’s role to safeguard our borders and enhance our nation’s economic prosperity through trade.”
The City of Laredo submitted a formal proposal under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program (DAP) in November 2016 for infrastructure improvements to reduce congestion at the Laredo World Trade LPOE. After years of planning and designing, the formal Donations Acceptance Agreement (DAA) was signedin December of 2020. Today’s announcement of construction completion finalizes a project and strong partnership which provides positive benefits to the port, drivers, and surrounding communities.
Prior to the donation project, the port experienced severe bottlenecking of traffic that stretched into Mexico due to the high volume of commercial truck traffic and port layout. By designating the four FAST lanes for pre-approved, low risk commercial carriers for expedited processing, the port is expected to see a reduction in wait times for all travelers.
“As International Trade continues to grow, so does the need for Laredo to adapt to meet these market conditions,” said Mayor Dr. Victor D. Treviño. “As the #1 Land Port in the Americas, strategies and programs are essential to improve efficiency and customer service. The 4 FAST Lanes program increases commercial crossings and traffic flow for truck drivers who are enrolled in the “FAST Program.” This program will reduce congestion and expedite safe and secure international trade. I look forward to continuing our great partnership and relationship between the City of Laredo and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
“The completion of the four Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at the World Trade Bridge is a tremendous improvement to Port Laredo,” said Vanessa Perez, Mayor Pro Tempore, Council Member District VII. “We continue facilitating trade through improvements like this FAST lane project that reduce wait times and congestion in the FM1472 and I69 corridor. We thank CBP and GSA for their partnership and all the stakeholders committed to ensuring an efficient and thriving Port Laredo.”
Pursuant to 6 U.S.C. § 301a, and more generally, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. §§ 112 et seq., as amended, CBP and GSA are authorized to accept donations of real property, personal property (including monetary donations) and non-personal services from private sector and government entities. Accepted donations may be used for port of entry construction, alterations, operations, and maintenance activities.
Public-private partnerships are a key component of CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy and allow CBP to provide new or expanded services and infrastructure at domestic ports of entry. For more information, visit www.cbp.gov/DAP.