WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) strongly support President Obama's 2016 budget request to invest $85,645,000 to construct a new replacement Port of Entry in Columbus, N.M. The construction project includes a new main building, commercial and noncommercial inspection facilities, pedestrian crossing, and export facilities. The request now must be approved by Congress. Udall, a member of the Appropriations Committee, and Heinrich will fight to ensure funding stays on track.
"This investment in the Columbus Port of Entry is an investment in jobs and opportunity for Luna County, and I will continue to push for quick action and full funding to ensure that we can make the necessary upgrades as quickly as possible," said Sen. Udall, who last year brought General Services Administration Director Dan Tangherlini to tour the Port to emphasize the importance of the expansion. "I'm proud to have helped obtain key funding for the port last year as a member of the Appropriations Committee. The upgrades will help connect Luna County and New Mexico businesses with the world and they are long overdue."
"New Mexico's border region helps boost our state's economy. A modern Port of Entry in Columbus would lead to more efficient trade between the United States and Mexico, help accommodate the growth between commercial and commuter crossing in the region, and help create good jobs," said Sen. Heinrich. "As our state continues to grow as an international trade center, the Columbus Port of Entry will be key in sustaining the diversity of our economy. I strongly support this request and will work with my colleagues to ensure our border communities in New Mexico prosper from their unique bi-national culture and economy."
A General Services Administration (GSA) project summary cites that the existing workspace and inspection facilities at Columbus POE do not meet federal agency operational needs. The construction project would expand existing facilities to ease future traffic volumes and improve the site to control storm water flow. Since its construction in 1989, the Columbus POE has seen a rise in the number of screened visitors and significant changes to the inspection process. With increased commercial traffic, the Columbus POE is anticipating additional growth over the next 15 years.