GSA Is Moving Ahead to Rebuild Two Maine Land Ports of Entry
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Two freight land ports from Maine to Canada are getting closer to being revamped since the U.S. General Services Administration recently awarded construction manager contracts as part of its $3.4 billion infrastructure investment fund plan to modernize the nation’s northern and southern border entries.
The state has land ports of entry into Canada that include Calais Ferry Point, Coburn Gore and Houlton, through which large volumes of freight travel back and forth. The Canadian government states that “Maine sells more goods to Canada than to all other countries combined” and Canada is also Maine’s top customer.
Since the beginning of this year, GSA has made steady progress in its ambitious plans to improve Maine’s land ports of entry to better handle movements of people and goods while also enhancing the ability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to perform their mission. Many land ports along the Canadian border are antiquated and unable to handle today’s traffic and freight volumes.
Construction on the Fort Fairfield land port of entry is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2026. (U.S. General Services Administration)
Built in 1933, the Limestone port of entry from January through August handled truck freight valued at $3.24 million, of which 41% were exports. During the same time period this year, Fort Fairfield saw $9.73 million in truck freight (69% exports) move through its facilities, which were built in 1934.
GSA wants to have a new long-lasting and durable port facility in Fort Fairfield that is sustainable and climate resilient with low maintenance and operating costs. It awarded a $3.9 million contract to Jacobs Solutions for construction project management, construction inspection, project scheduling, cost estimating, acquisition support, commissioning and partnering.
The total budget for the new Fort Fairfield land port of entry is estimated to cost $35 million to $45 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2026 and be mostly finished by May 2028. The port faces Carlingford in New Brunswick, Canada.
“Upgrades will include the latest technologies and equipment to facilitate enhanced traffic management and inspection,” GSA stated Oct. 4. “This project will improve economic, cultural and familial connections. The people who live along the border depend on this deep, cross-border community engagement, often crossing through the port daily for jobs and mutual aid.”
Total project costs for the Limestone port of entry (opposite Grand-Sault in New Brunswick) are lower: $15 million to $25 million. GSA on Oct. 2 awarded a similar contract to Jacobs Solutions for $3.15 million.
“The Limestone project will provide new construction to supplement the existing port with a new state-of-the-art and expanded facility,” GSA announced. The agency lists December as the deadline to issue a design build award, with construction to start in June 2025 with substantial completion two years later.
When finished, the port will be fully modernized with a new administration building, new pedestrian processing lanes, new primary building, new passenger vehicle lanes and new commercial vehicle inspection area. The new facility is expected to have better traffic flows and border security with lower wait times for travelers.
In January, GSA awarded a $505,000 contract to start environmental National Environmental Protection Act services to prepare for construction at Limestone, Fort Fairfield, Calais Ferry Point and Coburn Gore land ports of entry.
“The ports of entry along the Maine border are more than just a secure, welcoming gateway to our country,” Glenn Rotondo, GSA’s Region 1 public buildings service commissioner and then-acting regional administrator, said Jan. 9. “They are intrinsic to the fabric of life and community along the New England border with Canada. We are excited for the opportunity to begin the process to improve these facilities, and the economic prospects this project will bring to the region.”
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