News Release, July 28, 2010GSA announces opening of new Peace Arch border facility
Travelers crossing into the United States at the Peace Arch border crossing will find U.S. Customs and Border Protection transitioning operations into their new port of entry facility beginning Saturday, July 31.
During this transition phase, both buildings will be used to process people and traffic. Additional officers will be stationed at the crossing and travelers will have to be alert to their directions as traffic patterns will once again be changed.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Thomas Schreiber said while he doesn't expect the transition to have a major impact on border wait times, he warned the weekend is a Canadian holiday and the weather forecast is favorable.
"It's a Canadian holiday weekend and the Canadian dollar is up so I imagine we will have a large traffic volume," he said. "As a result, travelers will want to check border wait times, choose alternate crossings and basically plan their trip ahead of time."
Schreiber said the new facility is being opened as a test of their computer systems. When border officials are confident things are running smoothly, they will begin to tear down the old facility as well as rebuild the westernmost lanes of southbound I-5 to make room for new lanes. When completed, the new facility will have 10 lanes. Schreiber said he was unable to confirm a completion date although the entire project is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2010.
During this transition phase, one NEXUS lane will remain open plus additional primary inspection booths will be available for movement of vehicles as construction permits.
The Peace Arch is still closed to all foot traffic. Pedestrians should instead use the Pacific Highway port for crossing into the United States, he said.
The Peace Arch Port of Entry construction project replaces the current facility which was built in 1976 and is functionally obsolete. The complete project is expected to achieve Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Gold certification.
A portion of this project is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. GSA was appropriated more than $5.5 billion under the Recovery Act to convert federal buildings into high-performance green buildings, and build new, energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses and land ports of entry.
Additional information on the Peace Arch Land Port of Entry project, including illustrations of current and planned traffic configurations, can be found at www.gsa.gov/peacearch. Travel tips from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration is available www.CBP.gov or www.TSA.gov.