CBP, Cameron County partner for improvements at Los Indios’ Free Trade Bridge

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CBP and Cameron County have partnered for an improvement project at the Free Trade Bridge in Los Indios. (Courtesy: CBP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Cameron County on Friday announced a formal partnership to build a small-scale infrastructure improvement project at the Free Trade Bridge in Los Indios.

The partnership comes under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program, which formalizes projects years in the making allowing the parties to move forward with export lot building renovations and related infrastructure.

The county and the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority, which is now the Rio Grande Valley Regional Mobility Authority, submitted a formal proposal under the Donations Acceptance Program in March of 2019.

The parties will renovate an existing export office building to provide workspace for CBP officers and Unified Cargo Processing, according to a news release.

This workspace will allow the joint inspection facility to improve efficiency and binational collaboration. The area surrounding the export building will also be modernized to include new concrete, automated controls for a new motorized gate and a perimeter security fence.

Diane J. Sabatino, acting executive assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Field Operations, said the agency is grateful for the opportunity to pursue public-private partnerships to strengthen ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley.

“The renovation of the existing facilities and converting into office spaces to incorporate Unified Cargo Processing will have a significant impact in our ability to expedite legitimate trade and travel in the United States,” Sabatino said in the release.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. said he is pleased to announce the collaborative effort.

“These improvements will be undertaken at the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios CBP’s Export Lot. The crossing of Transmigrants and other traffic will be facilitated through the enhanced inspection of these vehicles by CBP,” he said in the release.

Jason L. Shelton, regional administrator for the General Services Administration, said that agency is thrilled for the partnership.

“This project, and many others along the southern border, benefit from the use of the Donations Acceptance Program allowing us to creatively deliver in support of CBP’s mission,” Shelton said.

CBP also said the infrastructure improvements will economically benefit surrounding communities.