WELLESLEY ISLAND, N.Y. (WWNY) - If you’ve been to the Alexandria Bay border crossing recently, you’ll notice a huge construction project. That’s because it’s in the middle of a $215 million makeover.
The Alexandria Bay border crossing is one of the busiest ports of entry on the Canadian border. To support the thousands of vehicles that pass it every day, it's expanding.
“This project is a very positive development for the area. It’s going to encourage a lot of the commercial truck driving companies to come here. I think people, if they know they’re not going to be waiting in line for an extreme amount of time, they’re going to be more likely to cross here,” said Customs and Border Protection Chief Kurt Tennant.
The facility is pushing farther south of the border to allow more room and is getting all new facilities and lane configurations.
Chief Tennant says it will help Customs and Border Protection officers process vehicles.
"The mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is to keep the United States of America safe," he said.
In order to do that job as efficiently as possible, they needed a few upgrades. There's a building where vehicles can be x-rayed, there are far more lanes than there were before, and the CBP officers are going to have more flexibility within those lanes.
"So on the commerical side right now, there are three lanes to perform inspections. At the end of phase one we're going to have 7 lanes. They're flexible, so they can change over to passenger lanes as needed," said Andrew Woodring, project manager.
Phase one is just commercial vehicles. Once the passenger lanes are redone as well, there will be 15 lanes.
For now, drivers won't notice much inconvenience. The entire project is set to finish by the summer of 2022.