The San Ysidro LPOE is the busiest international border crossing in the western hemisphere, connecting two communities united by a social, economic, and cultural fabric. Close to 70,000 vehicles and more than 20,000 pedestrians cross north from Mexico each day, providing a vital cog in the region’s economy.
To accommodate growth and better meet the changing needs of the traveling public, the United States General Services Administration (GSA) undertook a multiphase expansion of the San Ysidro LPOE with a goal of building a “Port of the Future” that is sustainable, operationally scalable, and has a reduced carbon footprint. The project is designed to LEED Platinum and stringent energy reduction targets.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive the Golden State Award, and certainly one we’re excited to share with our partners on the project,” said Bill Ferris, Stantec’s Project Director. “Easier transit for those crossing at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry assists the economy of two nations and keeps people and goods moving efficiently. As we continue to deal with the impacts of climate change, it’s especially meaningful that this project puts a focus on energy reduction.”
The design-build team of Hensel Phelps and Stantec completed Phase 2 of the $741-million three-phase GSA modernization and expansion project, delivering a complete reconstruction of the LPOE’s pedestrian- and bus-inspection facilities. U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection is the primary tenant. Other members of the project team include Coffman Engineers (structural engineering) and MA Engineers (mechanical and plumbing). Key project components include:
- East Pedestrian Processing Facility: This building provides customs facilities and queuing functions for northbound pedestrian travelers.
- Historic Customs House: A major renovation of this circa 1932 building listed in the National Register of Historic Places includes a new second-story addition on the north wing to facilitate processing for southbound travelers. A new courtyard was also created to the rear of the building.
- Southbound Pedestrian Plaza: A new public plaza unites the east side of the complex and integrates the facility with the infrastructure and rhythms of the surrounding community to enhance and celebrate this location.
- Virginia Avenue Transit Center (VATC): Associated with GSA’s West Pedestrian project, the VATC provides multimodal transportation options for approximately half of the daily influx of 20,000 pedestrian travelers.
- Employee Pedestrian Bridges: Connects the existing Headhouse and the East Ped, simplifying access and providing safer passage between the two major buildings.
- Community-focused Artwork: Artwork interprets the cross-border dynamics in a vibrant community setting. An artistic feature includes a dynamic sculpture in the Southbound Pedestrian Plaza from local artist Rueben Ochoa that pays homage to his bi-national heritage from both sides of the border.
The 2021 Golden State Award winner was selected out of 51 projects and announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards virtual celebration. The awards celebration also served as a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, which provides scholarship awards to graduate and undergraduate college students who are recognized for their notable academic achievements.