McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Two international bridges that have undergone major renovations recently in Laredo, Texas, were named as “Best Government Buildings” in the region.
The Puente de Las Americas Bridge I, and the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge II — commonly known as Bridges I and II — were named by Engineering News-Record as the best government/public buildings in the Texas/Louisiana region.
The busy ports of entry were recognized for over $100 million worth of renovations completed without interruptions by the General Services Administration.
The Laredo ports are some of the most frequented ports of entry on the entire Southwest border. In March, the Laredo ports briefly surpassed Los Angeles as having the most incoming value of goods into the United States with $20.09 billion; the L.A. port brought in $19.66 billion that month.
In recognizing these ports, Engineering News-Record (ENR) cited: “A key challenge was to avoid interruptions. Dividing the project into phases allowed the ports to maintain operations around the clock and continue processing their 15 million annual customers. Daily coordination with government was key to adapting to the port’s needs.”
A key challenge was to avoid interruptions.”Engineering News-Record
Renovations included a new vehicle processing facility with new lanes, X-ray and waiting areas, and inspection canopies, which will improve the flow and processing of bus and automobile traffic.
ENR also recognized the facilities for having the extensive renovations completed “on time and within budget.”
While in Laredo on Sept. 30, Border Report got a tour of the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge II as part of the two-week Border Tour.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, whose district includes Laredo, said in a news release that the successful completion of these projects “was possible through the hard work and collaboration between the General Services Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection” and his offices.
Cuellar, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee and is vice chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said he helped to get lawmakers to fund more than $117 million for the completion of expansion and modernization projects at both bridges.
“Laredo is strategically located between two great powerhouses for commerce. Puente de Las Americas Bridge I, and the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge II are critical to our community and nation’s economic prosperity,” Cuellar said in a news release. “The rehabilitation and opening of Bridges I and II is one of the most important infrastructure projects undertaken in Texas.”
Visit the BorderReport.com homepage for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.