LAREDO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the City of Laredo announced a formal partnership May 21 to facilitate commercial truck processing at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo by constructing Free and Secure Trade for Commercial Vehicles (FAST) lanes.
Under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program, CBP, GSA and the City of Laredo will construct four FAST lanes at the World Trade Bridge over the next 15 to 18 months to provide faster processing for commercial truck drivers who participate in the FAST program. The City of Laredo will outfit the lanes with the necessary infrastructure and technology.
“The Donations Acceptance Agreement with the City of Laredo is another strong example of federal and local governments working together to create opportunities for American workers and businesses,” said William A. Ferrara, executive assistant commissioner of the CBP Office of Field Operations. “The construction of FAST lanes at the World Trade Bridge will address longstanding infrastructure challenges and facilitate flows of cross-border trade and travel that are vital to our economy.”
The current port layout and the high volume of commercial truck traffic at the World Trade Bridge causes severe bottlenecking that stretches into Mexico, according to the CBP. The FAST lanes will reduce wait times for all travelers at the port by diverting pre-approved, low-risk commercial carriers to designated lanes for expedited processing.
“Partnerships with CBP and local stakeholders on donations projects like this one align with GSA’s vision to provide effective and efficient government for the American people,” said Giancarlo Brizzi, acting regional administrator for GSA. “Expedited processing of commercial trade with Mexico helps to boost the U.S. economy while supporting CBP’s mission to protect and safeguard our borders while enhancing the nation’s economic recovery.”
To further facilitate and expand cross-border trade and travel, the City of Laredo submitted a formal proposal under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program (DAP) in November 2016 for infrastructure improvements to reduce congestion at the Laredo World Trade Bridge. This Donations Acceptance Agreement formalizes a project that has been years in the making and allows the parties to move forward with constructing the new FAST Lanes.
“This expansion will allow us to continue to be the No. 1 land port in the nation, something we are very proud of,” said Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz. “The City of Laredo, along with the trade industry, welcomes such partnership under CBP’s DAP.”
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