SAN YSIDRO–The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Homeland Security – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) to celebrate the opening of the newly constructed northbound pedestrian-processing building on the east side of the port.
Speakers from the U.S., and Mexican governments joined local government officials to open the facility – known as PedEast – for the San Diego-Tijuana region.
“The completion of the PedEast facility marks an important construction milestone by providing modernized infrastructure at the San Ysidro port within budget and on schedule,” said GSA’s Acting Pacific Rim Regional Administrator Dan Brown. “PedEast provides CBP with a new, state-of-the-art facility required to meet its federal-inspection mission and the travelling public with an expanded facility that will support the local community.”
“San Ysidro is the largest, most complex port of entry in the Western Hemisphere,” said CBP’s San Diego Director of Field Operations Pete Flores. “One out of every five travelers who enters the U.S., whether by land, air or sea, does so through a port of entry within the San Diego Field Office jurisdiction, and the majority enter through San Ysidro. The opening of this pedestrian-processing facility is a reflection of the hard work, collaboration and efficiency of GSA and the CBP.”
The completion of the new PedEast building marks an important project milestone on the LPOE’s Phase 2 construction schedule. With 22 pedestrian booths, PedEast increases CBP’s mission-support infrastructure to process cross-border travelers. When the San Ysidro LPOE project is complete in the fall of 2019, it will deliver modernized, mission-related infrastructure for federal-inspection agencies and the traveling public including renovation of the historic Customs House, a pedestrian plaza, and expansion of northbound and southbound vehicle-inspection facilities.
The PedEast opening attracted civic leaders from both sides of the San Diego-Tijuana border community to celebrate the port’s newest northbound pedestrian-processing facility.
“The opening of PedEast brings us one step closer to fully realizing the economic potential of reduced wait times at the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere,” stated Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51). “I look forward to the benefits of improving our border, including strengthening our national security, reducing the port’s carbon footprint, and facilitating economic growth for California and the entire nation.”
“Every day thousands of San Diegans rely on a modern and efficient border to conduct business, travel abroad, commute, or visit friends and family,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This new facility is going to greatly improve the traveler experience and provide more streamlined crossing to and from Mexico. I was proud to advocate for funding at the federal level to complete the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry expansion so we can continue to grow our regional economy.”
CBP began pedestrian-processing operations at the new 100,000-square foot PedEast facility. Additionally, CBP will continue its processing operations already taking place at the 22,000 square foot sister facility on the west side of the port (PedWest).
PedEast is conveniently located near public transit, including the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System trolley line. PedEast is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for northbound travelers into the U.S. CBP will process pedestrians and bus passengers, including Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI), Ready Lane, and general traffic.
With today’s opening of PedEast’s 22 pedestrian lanes, San Ysidro LPOE now has 36 inspection booths available for CBP’s use in pedestrian-processing operations (including 14 lanes at PedWest). This facility represents the largest pedestrian expansion at the San Ysidro port since the 1970s.
Speakers at the celebration included: Congressman Juan Vargas, Congressman Scott Peters; San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; Baja California Lieutenant Governor Francisco Rueda Gomez; Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum Buenrostro; GSA Public Buildings Service Deputy Commissioner Michael Gelber; GSA Pacific Rim Acting Regional Administrator Dan Brown; Consul General Sue Saarnio – U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, and, CBP’s San Diego Director of Field Operations Pete Flores.
The San Ysidro LPOE is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, where more than 70,000 northbound vehicle passengers and 20,000 pedestrians cross the border daily. GSA recognizes the pivotal role the port plays in linking the vibrant binational communities of San Diego and Tijuana. GSA continues to work closely with government partners and community stakeholders to communicate the port’s modernization and expansion project to accommodate an anticipated future growth in vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and to better meet the changing needs of federal-inspection agencies and the traveling public.