After years of construction, the new Port of Entry facility in Van Buren had it’s official ribbon cutting today- the culmination of years of hard work. It not only brought the St. John Valley community together; but also GSA administrators and Congressional delegation in Washington as well as members of the Project Team in Boston for a “virtual ribbon cutting” via video teleconference.
Regional Commissioner of GSA Glenn Rotondo says, “We recognize the importance of these facilities to the local areas not only to the security of our country but for commerce and the impact on the local economy.”
The new Port of Entry in Van Buren has been under construction since 2010 due to significant damage caused by flooding of the St. John River in 2008. Now in 2013, it’s a fully capable commercial port, meaning it’s able to accommodate trucks without special permits.
Van Buren Port Director Patricia Scull says, “Commercial trucks now if they’re coming from Western Canada can now cross here instead of going all the way down to the Trans Canada to the Houlton port of entry if they’d like.”
The new state-of-the-art facility uses modern and sustainable technology to enhance border security and save energy; not mention speed the flow of commerce.
Van Buren Port Director Patricia Scull says, “It allows us to greatly enhance our processing, times will be faster, and the abilities we have are just expanded ten fold from what we had previously.”
At 44,000 square feet, the new facility has plenty of space: 3 lanes of traffic with the capability of expanding to 4. The construction of the port of entry gave over $10 million dollars worth of work to sub contractors in the state.
Regional Commissioner of GSA Glenn Rotondo says, “About $3.3 million of that was in Aroostook County and about $1.5 million of contracts for local in the town of Van Buren.”
Scull says the new border crossing in Van Buren was a long time coming; that will allow for more efficiency in servicing the trade and traveling public, more effectively.
The total cost of the project was $48 million. The new facility will also help expedite traffic during the World Acadian Congress scheduled for August 2014; with an expected attendance of tens of thousands of people.