U.S. Senator Tom Udall yesterday pressed Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to commit to ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place to protect the Columbus Port of Entry from reoccurring flooding.
Earlier this year, Udall joined a groundbreaking ceremony for an $86 million expansion of the Port of Entry Complex.
Diversion berms to protect the port from flooding was the Albuquerque District office’s top priority for the Army Corps’ Fiscal Year 2017 work plan, but the project is still waiting on funding.
“The federal government is investing $86 million to modernize this facility to make sure Customs and Border Protection has the necessary facilities to fulfill its mission of keeping America’s borders safe and secure — while facilitating significant increases in the number of daily crossings, due to increased commercial and agricultural trade and private vehicle and pedestrian traffic,” Udall said.
“Unfortunately, the Columbus Port of Entry has been subject to reoccurring flooding over the years. In order to sufficiently protect the port of entry, we need to build diversion berms. … yet the project did not receive any funding to build the berms.”
Semonite committed to work with Udall to find an answer for why funding has yet to be allocated.