Border crossers get updates and schedules for traffic congestion



CALEXICO- The General Service Administration (GSA) conducted a Calexico West Community Representatives Committee meeting on Thursday afternoon at the Carnegie Library to update the progress and impacts of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry (LPOE) phase 1 and 2 renovations.

In efforts to more effectively gather quality input on projects, in 2007 the GSA established the CRC, which consisted of stakeholders perceived to be most affected by the development and operations of the port of entry.  CRC meetings discuss topics regarding project development and the resulting repercussion on the immediate community and the wider region.    

Anthony Kleppe,  Region 9 General Services Administration LOPE program manager, and Project Manager Scott Chin laid out the upcoming itinerary via slideshow.

Phase 1 included vehicular circulation/ inspection construction and massive concrete structural pours.  Ten north bound personally owned vehicle (POV ) lanes with primary and secondary canopies, a new head house, and five south bound POV lanes are scheduled to be completed by March of 2018.

Phase 2 aspires to demolish the existing Port building, build a temporary pedestrian processing facility, add a new pedestrian building, a new administration building, and 6 additional north bound and south bound POV lanes with inspection canopies and booths by October of 2020.

“Before phase 1 is completed, there is a good chance that we would get funding appropriation for phase 2.  So, there is an overlap which we hope to issue sometime this spring for construction by fall of this year. Thirty-six months of construction will take us into October 2020,” stated Chin.

Northbound vehicles coming from Mexico will approach new pre-primary and primary inspection canopies, a new Customs and Border Protection Administration building, and landscape features.

“There are a lot of natural connections to landscapes that we hope to introduce as part of our design and construction,” elaborated Chin.

“We don’t typically do the pre-primary canopy, but in Calexico we chose to do a pre-primary because of the harsh climate and hot summer months here for CBP officers and K9’s to work under,” he added.

The agreement with Mexico is that the existing pedestrian crossing point will not change.  Heading north bound from Mexico, people coming across into Calexico will see a lot of new landscape features and plenty of shading.

 “We are currently undertaking a 60-inch storm drain line.  There was an existing storm drain line on our site but it was in the way of our proposed buildings so we had to remove it and are installing the new one right now.  We are excavating as far down as 30-32 feet and this is within our property line but we’re having to close one of the two lanes coming down Highway 111 because of safety issues,” said Chin in regarding the reason for only one open northbound lane. 

Sewer line work across the 2nd street bridge with traffic control will begin in March and conclude in April of this year, operations will be conducted during off hours and there will be no road closure, according to the presentation.. 

Second Street sidewalk utility work may impact pedestrians along the sidewalk beginning in June and ending this upcoming August. 

GSA is coordinating with the City of Calexico for a traffic light at Cesar Chavez and  Second Street, estimated to begin in July, 2017.

The temporary pedestrian processing facility and demolition of existing port building is on schedule to initiate in October of 2018 and finish by March, 2018. 

Phase 1 completion will result in closure of existing Northbound / Southbound POV lanes by March 2018.

“Time frames are contingent upon congressional funding and appropriations,”  Kleppe reminded the assembled group.