Upgrades Replace Outdated Facility, Enhance Border Security, and Better Serve Travelers
The U.S. General Services Administration welcomed the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection to a newly constructed Land Port of Entry located along the United States and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan border in Portal, ND. The new port facility strengthens border security and facilitates the movement of legal international trade and travel.
"GSA is proud to transform this Port into an energy efficient facility despite the region's extreme climate," said Susan Damour, GSA Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator. "This facility will satisfy the long-term goals of the DHS and deliver an efficient and secure port of entry into the United States."
The new port features three commercial vehicle processing lanes, two car lanes in addition to enhanced secondary screening areas, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) enrollment center, and expanded public and employee operational areas. Last year at Portal, CBP processed over 104,000 southbound cars, up 15% from the previous year, more than 105,000 trucks, a 35% increase, and 234 buses, up 9%.
"The new port facility in Portal enhances our mission to secure our borders," said Pembina Area Port Director, Mary Delaquis. "The updated infrastructure and technologies provided in this new facility provide more efficient, secure, and expedited processing for travelers crossing our northern border."
The Main Port Building is expected to save approximately 25% a year on electricity consumption and 90% in natural gas as compared to a 2003 baseline that was set by GSA. This translates to an annual electrical utility cost savings to taxpayers of approximately $10,000; combined with estimated natural gas savings of about $15,000 per year.
For GSA to achieve LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Main Port Building includes several energy efficient features such as a 300-foot long south facing walkway called "Solar Street." The Solar Street is designed to have a high window-to-wall ratio with high shading coefficient glazing and with an exterior adjustable shading system to take advantage of passive solar heating. Another feature used is a cool roof that reduces the cooling energy load, provides reduced air pollution, as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions.