EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- A community engagement meeting will be held today to discuss the expansion of the Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry facilities.
The U.S. General Services Administration is managing the project that was funded through a bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed and singed into law by President Joe Biden.
Three contracts were awarded for projects at land ports of entry in Texas through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Ritchter Associates was awarded the contract to complete an enhanced feasibility study for the Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry.
The overall budget for the expansion project consist of 650 to 700 million dollars to upgrade facilities that facilitate the Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry.
Roughly 600 commercial vehicles, 12,500 passenger vehicles, and 2,500 pedestrians daily, according to GSA.
The Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry was constructed in 1967 and rebuilt in about 1998, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Specialist, Roger Maier.
It is the only toll-free port of entry in the City of El Paso.
Due to the frequent usage by commercial and passenger vehicles managing the congestion has been difficult.
G.S.A. reports that the facility has reached the end of its functional use and that the infrastructure is operating beyond capacity.
“Investing in our land port of entry helps GSA support the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,” said Acting Regional Administrator Giancarlo Brizzi in November of 2022.
Currently, an Enhanced Feasibility study is in progress. The completion of the study will be done by September, 2023.
Early this year, the agency proposed three plans for the expansion.
Two of the plans would have done away with the Event Center which holds the only ice rink in the borderland. When residents heard of the proposed plans they quickly expressed their concerns.
"Everything that we've worked for would be gone," Vice President of the EL Paso Rhinos, Tyler Deloach said back in April.
On June 6th, an alternative option was posted on GSA's website, that appears not to impact the Event Center or the El Paso County Coliseum.
Information will be provided about the proposed plans for the expansion of the Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry facilities and will be able to express their concerns.
The meeting will be held today at the El Paso County Coliseum in the VIP room at 4100 Paisano Dr.
It will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 7 p.m.