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Administrator Doan Helps Break Ground for New Land Port

Remarks by
 Lurita Alexis Doan
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Groundbreaking Ceremony
San Luis II Land Port of Entry
Yuma, Arizona
February 15, 2008

 

Thank you very much, Peter.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am pleased and very honored to be here on this very day with:

Secretary Peters;

Governor Napolitano;

Deputy Commissioner Winkowski;

Presidente Gomez-Morin from Indaabin;

Mayor Escamilla of San Luis, Arizona;

Chairman of the Yuma Port Authority, Mr. Magrino;

And the many other state and local leaders and officials from the United States and Mexico as we celebrate and usher in a new and dynamic era for San Luis, Yuma, and the entire region.

Today is a truly historic day.  Today, we are celebrating the groundbreaking for the first new border crossing point in decades.

San Luis II will unclog the overtaxed arteries of San Luis I, stimulating a safe and secure stream of traffic, trade and tourism. It is GSA’s duty and privilege to make sure the job gets done right. You have my pledge that we will deliver!

In fact, GSA is responsible for building and maintaining all of our Land Ports of Entry. These critical facilities control the flow of legitimate trade and travel and provide foreign visitors their first glimpse of our nation. I’m sorry to say that at San Luis I and most facilities along our southern and northern borders, that first glimpse takes too long and the view is all wrong.

We can do better!

Today proves it.  San Ysidro proves it, and Nogales and a half-dozen other places I could name.

As GSA Administrator, I believe it’s time to get busy and start building more roads, bridges, inspection booths and other infrastructure. This is one of our agency’s top priorities for the new year; I am committed to igniting a building boom at our nation’s Land Ports of Entry.

So far we have also:

  • Revamped our program and cut in half the time it takes to build and design a land port;
  • We’ve made the process more transparent and strongly encouraged state and local leaders to send us practical solutions to relieve congestion;
  • I’m now requiring monthly progress reports on our Port of Entry Program;
  • And we’re also encouraging greater participation from the private sector, as infrastructure enhancements are a perfect opportunity for public-private partnerships. 

The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Yuma as the sunniest place on earth. The record-keepers have found the sun shines here 91 percent of the time.

Today it got a little sunnier.

Between breaking ground on San Luis II and the Robert A. Vaughn Expressway Project, what we’re really celebrating today is a model of cooperation and collaboration between many creative and committed partners. I thank you for what you’ve already achieved, and for the hard work that is yet to come.

You have my promise that GSA will be with you each step of the way. GSA has fully embraced President Bush’s call to securely expedite the flow of legitimate trade and travel. We are moving to build the additional roads, bridges, inspection booths and even new land ports that the nation urgently requires.  This task is ours.  The President, the Congress and the American people expect GSA to deliver.

And we will do just that.

Thank you very much.