Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) announced that the General Services Administration (GSA) has transmitted to Congress plans to expand and modernize the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) Land Port of Entry in El Paso, TX.
This important port of entry is set to receive an investment of more than $600 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for site acquisition, design, and construction of facilities.
“The economic prosperity of El Paso and the strength of our national supply chain relies on the trade flowing across our outdated land ports of entry,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the much-needed modernization and expansion of the Bridge of the Americas Land Port of Entry will be fully funded. I look forward to working closely with the General Services Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and community partners and stakeholders in our binational region to ensure this project creates good-paying jobs, promotes economic growth and development, and reduces air pollution in the borderland.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Congresswoman Escobar voted for on November 5, 2021 and signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021, includes over $3.4 billion to update technology, reduce wait times, and decrease the carbon footprint of land ports of entry across the country. The law also provides authority for GSA to approve and fund these projects in northern and southern border communities.
Earlier this month, Congresswoman Escobar sent a letter to GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan urging her to give full and fair consideration towards investing new funding of this law in El Paso land ports of entry, including BOTA. This announcement comes on the heels of Congresswoman Escobar’s meeting with United States Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and binational leaders, where they discussed the critical need to invest in regional land ports of entry.
BOTA, built in 1967, currently processes privately owned vehicles, pedestrians, and commercial traffic and in 2021 experienced more than 3.8 million crossings. According to a feasibility study completed in November 2018, BOTA was not built for today’s national security mission, trade, travel volumes, or other threats. Improvements are needed to increase processing capacity, enhance security, and facilitate trade and travel volumes. The feasibility study proposed a 5-year plan project with an estimated cost of $699,300,000.