El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in El Paso are advising the traveling public and members of the trade community that a construction project at the southbound lanes at the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) is slated to begin May 10. The damaged and deeply rutted roadway surface on the westernmost lane approaching the bridge will be removed and replaced. A series of speed bumps will also be installed as part of the three week project.
This construction will result in an improved and safer exit point but it will impact truck drivers and commuters who regularly use the BOTA southbound lanes," said Ana Hinojosa, CBP director of Field Operation in El Paso. "We are encouraging those groups to begin planning and consider adjusting their commutes during the month of May. Local southbound commuters should strongly consider using the Ysleta or Stanton crossing if they normally use BOTA during historically peak traffic periods since there will be fewer southbound lanes available at BOTA."
The project will require construction crews to close two of four lanes so they can safely repair the road surface and install speed bumps. Once the first half of the project is completed the newly renovated lanes will be opened and the other two lanes will be closed for upgrades. The lanes will be open for car traffic but commercial trucks will be prohibited from using the southbound lanes for the duration of the project.
"We have met with the trade community and sent notices advising of them of how we intend to process southbound commercial truck traffic during this project," said Hinojosa. "We have also enlisted the support of our counterparts in Mexico to develop a process that will allow the free flow of international trade in our community with as little disruption as possible."
During the construction project, the BOTA commercial cargo facility will not accept any northbound commercial traffic. CBP will instead use the BOTA cargo facility to process empty commercial truck traffic heading south. All empty commercial tractor trailers will be routed into the BOTA facility through the CBP cargo compound exit gate at Delta Street and then directed across the bridge into the Mexican Customs facility. Loaded commercial trucks will be able use the existing southbound lanes at the Ysleta international crossing or they can opt to use the Santa Teresa port of entry.
No northbound commercial traffic will be accepted at BOTA for the duration of the project. Commercial trucks seeking entry can enter the U.S. at the Ysleta/Zaragoza international crossing or Santa Teresa/San Jeronimo crossing.
"We are adding staffing at Ysleta to process the anticipated increase in redirected northbound traffic," said Hinojosa. "We are confident that Ysleta has the space and will have the personnel to accommodate the added traffic."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.