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Pedestrian Bridge First Piece Of Border Remodel

Audio

Aired 9/21/09

The federal government could begin issuing construction contracts as soon as tomorrow for the massive San Ysidro border crossing remodel project. Government officials say the first contract that will go out is for a pedestrian bridge.

The federal government could begin issuing construction contracts as soon as tomorrow for the massive San Ysidro border crossing remodel project. Government officials say the first contract that will go out is for a pedestrian bridge.

The San Ysdiro Port of Entry remodel has been on the drawing board for about 15 years. The project will increase the number of vehicle lanes headed north and south, revamp the pedestrian crossing and add inspection space and new port offices.

Community groups still have concerns about aspects of the project and are working with federal officials to try to resolve them. Nevertheless, Anthony Kleppe, with the federal government says the first construction contract is reason to celebrate.

"The existing facility is extremely outdated. It doesn't provide the experience that really the world's largest land port of entry deserves," he says. "We're thrilled to be beginning."

The new pedestrian bridge will replace the existing one that runs along the port's administrative offices. Federal officials have erased six inspection booths in the southbound lanes from the latest remodel plan. Kleppe says there will be a full environmental impact review before the booths are reintroduced.

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