County land donation is missing piece for border inspection site

HARLINGEN — Federal and local officials say the long-delayed inspection station at the Los Indios bridge will move forward once Cameron County completes a land donation.

“Cameron County is donating a small parcel of land to GSA to improve the flow of commercial traffic through the port into the adjacent Texas Department of Transportation’s Border Safety Inspection Facility,” said Tina Jaegerman, a spokesperson with the General Services Administration.

Work on the $6.9 million Border Safety Inspection Facility at the international bridge stalled in September and has yet to recommence. The station is now eight months overdue.

“The land in question is less than an acre,” County Administrator David Garcia said yesterday via email, adding the property would be “used for commercial traffic to get from the existing federal facility to the new state facility.”

Garcia said the county was happy to help sort out the situation, and county staffers have been working to meet the requirements for such a donation.

“Due to the various title commitments and title policy requirements for this donation the county is working with GSA and the title company to iron out the language to comply with this donation as per the GSA,” Garcia said.

“All documentation will be forwarded to GSA in the next few days for them to make a final determination on this land donation.”

The inspection facility will ensure that commercial trucks coming out of Mexico meet U.S. vehicle safety standards. The BSIF will replace an older facility nearby which is located along FM 509.

TxDOT has said changes to the facility’s design could boost the price of building the station.

“TxDOT will fully fund and manage the contract for the improvements and donate them to GSA upon completion,” the GSA’s Jaegerman said.