Press Release

Rep. Cuellar, City of Laredo Announce FAST Lane Expansion Project

Will Increase Volume and Efficiency of Trade through Laredo Port of Entry

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LAREDO, Texas, April 20, 2017 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments

Today at the World Trade Bridge, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) joined City of Laredo leaders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, and representatives of the international trade community to announce that federal officials have approved the city’s planned $10.3 million FAST Lane Expansion Project.

“This expansion will streamline international commerce through Laredo, eliminating costly bottlenecks and benefiting the local and national economy,” said Congressman Cuellar. “Laredo is the third-ranked port of entry in the entire nation, and an economic engine for Texas. This project is good for businesses, the city, and the country. It’s exactly the result I was hoping for when I wrote legislation to make this type of project possible.”

Mayor Pete Saenz said, “The City’s plans to construct a fast lane at World Trade Bridge will greatly enhance the free flow of commercial truck traffic and its competitiveness and maintain Laredo as the number one land port of the Americas.  The approval of the construction of these facilities through the Donation Acceptance Program signifies the realization of collaborative local, state, and federal efforts.”

In 2014, Congressman Henry Cuellar successfully added legislative language (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, P.L. 113-76, Section 559) to make this expansion possible. He designed it to ease delays and improve infrastructure at our nation’s ports of entry, establishing a program to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to give cities like Laredo permission to fund and execute projects involving federal property through the Donation Acceptance Program (DAP).

In 2016, Congressman Cuellar and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) passed H.R. 875, the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016, built on that program.  

In November 2016, the City of Laredo submitted a proposal for this project to CBP and GSA; those agencies approved it this week.

The project will relocate FAST lanes to a new site on the north side of the federal compound, allowing FAST trucks a more direct route from the bridge, into the new FAST inspection facility, and on to their final destinations.

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