WELLESLEY ISLAND, N.Y. (WWTI) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the General Service Administration cut the ribbon at the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry’s brand new facility on Tuesday morning.

This marked the official completion of a $260 million land border modernization project which began five years ago in 2017.

Although the ribbon cutting was in mid-July, CBP began processing passenger traffic at the port in late spring. The facility now has eight new passenger inspection lanes.

According to Assistant Area Port Director Kurt Tennant, improving traffic flow was one of the main goals as Alexandria Bay is the sixth-busiest port of entry on the Northern Border.

“Five years ago on a typical summer Saturday the traffic would back into Canada,” Tennant reflected. “There was not enough room to put traffic in our parking lot.

Now things are moving much quicker even though traffic is on the rise and the Alex Bay is seeing 1,200 cars on average daily.

“The capacity here has absolutely been enhanced with this project,” Allison Azevedo, Deputy Commissioner for the General Services Administration Public Building Service department said.

The new facility also has large inspection areas as well as a state-of-the-art main building that includes the newest technology, additional rooms for interviews and search and more space for employees.

Leadership at Alexandria Bay, these improvements ultimately aim to increase efficiency, security and better the work environment.

“As CBP’s mission has evolved over the years, it’s critical that our facilities support those efforts to accomplish that important mission,” CBP Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy expressed. “So these improvements and modernizations were crucial in the success of our agency.”