Fact Friday: A Profile of GSA’s Busiest Land Border Crossing

Located 15 miles south of San Diego, California, the Land Port of Entry (LPOE) at San Ysidro is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, averaging about 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians entering the U.S. from Tijuana every day. The San Ysidro LPOE was last expanded in 1972, however the aging infrastructure was no longer sufficient to meet the changing mission needs of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), the primary tenant, or keep up with the binational growth in traffic.

To better help CBP meet their mission and improve overall throughput, the port is currently undergoing a three-phased, $741 million modernization and realignment project. As work on Phase 1 of construction begins to wind down, the impact of the port improvements are already starting to garner attention and positive reviews from the traveling public. The number of northbound inspection booths increased from 26 to 46 and has been cited in playing a critical role in reducing northbound vehicle wait times from three or four hours during peak commute times to as little as 40 minutes. This has translated in a 20 percent increase in vehicle traffic and local businesses are reporting an increase in sales and customer traffic. A study by the San Diego Association of Governments estimated that the region lost more than $6 billion yearly due to the long wait times.

Recently, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 provided funding for the last previously unfunded phase of construction; setting the stage for the start of work on Phases 2 and 3. Phase 1 included the construction of a new pedestrian bridge, a new southbound pedestrian crossing, secondary vehicle inspection area, headhouse and primary vehicle inspection lane and booth improvements. The second phase of construction will feature a new administrative building and an improved northbound pedestrian crossing facility. Phase 3 will realign a portion of the Interstate 5 South freeway, provide additional northbound vehicle lanes and construct a parking structure for CBP staff.

As construction continues at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, GSA’s commitment to the community, small businesses and the environment remains steadfast as it builds the port of the future. For more information about the San Ysidro LPOE project please visit gsa.gov/sanysidro or follow us at facebook.com/gsapacificrimregion and twitter.com/US_GSAR9.