CBP Dedicates New Peace Arch Port Facility
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials joined with representatives of the General Services Administration Wednesday to dedicate the new facilities at the Peace Arch port of entry in Blaine, Wash.
"This project ensures that CBP can carry out its critical functions at this busy port of entry while meeting the needs of the traveling public," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin.
Bersin was joined at the ceremony by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, Stephen Leeds of GSA, CBP Assistant Commissioners Thomas Winkowski, Eugene Schied and Michael Yeager and local and state government representatives, as well as representatives from the Canadian government.
The new facility represents the state of the art in environmentally sustainable technology, with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold certification is being sought for the $107 million complex.
A significant expansion over the previous port building, which was constructed in 1976, the new Peace Arch port is 30,000 square feet with 10 primary inspection lanes, making travel into the U.S. more efficient and safe. The construction project itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the excavation of 4.6 million cubic feet of dirt and the placement of nearly 300,000 cubic feet of cast-in-place concrete and more than two million pounds of steel.
In a meeting with local CBP personnel earlier in the day, Bersin noted that CBP's components in the area had shown particular dedication in helping manage flows of cross-border traffic for the 2008 Olympic Games in Vancouver while the port was undergoing reconstruction.
A ribbon cutting ceremony led by Blaine Area Port Director Greg Alvarez and Canada Border Services Agency District Director Kim Scoville officially opened the new port, and was followed by a facility tour and media interviews.
Commissioner Bersin spoke of the positive outcome this new facility will have in the Pacific Northwest and CBP's commitment to facilitate legitimate travel and trade while fulfilling its mission to safeguard the American homeland at the nation's borders.
GSA awarded the design contract for the new port to Bohlin, Cywinski, and Jackson Architectural firm and the construction contract to J.E. Dunn Construction of Kirkland, Washington. The project design received the GSA Design Excellence Honor Award for successfully balancing its architecture with the surrounding landscape environment including Peace Arch State Park. (GSA Press Release on Port Opening)
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.