New Security Scanning Systems Being Installed at Laredo Bridge

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Laredo Port of Entry has begun the installation of innovative Low Energy Portal (LEP) scanning systems at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge, enhancing security measures without disrupting traffic flow. This development was announced by Port Director Albert Flores, who noted that the systems will be strategically placed in the passenger vehicle queuing areas south of the primary inspection booths to scan arriving vehicular traffic.

“The LEP system is designed to scan vehicles as they arrive, with the images being reviewed in real-time to identify potential threats and anomalies that may require further examination,” explained Flores. This technology is intended to complement existing non-intrusive inspection capabilities, aiming to bolster border security efficiently.

Initial construction has started on the west side of the bridge and will progressively extend eastward. Although the installation involves construction, it is carefully planned to avoid interference with northbound traffic. Measures include routing traffic around construction zones and conducting work predominantly at night to minimize disruptions. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year, with the systems expected to become operational in early 2025.

Once in place, vehicles will pass through the LEP systems immediately after crossing the international boundary and before reaching the primary inspection booths. CBP personnel will analyze the imagery produced to determine if additional screening is necessary. An alternative route will be available for drivers who choose not to pass through the new system, where traditional inspection protocols will continue.

In 2020, Congress allocated $59 million for CBP to procure and install these advanced non-intrusive inspection systems. These systems are crucial for detecting illicit narcotics and are part of CBP’s comprehensive enforcement strategy aimed at intercepting weapons, drugs, undeclared currency, and other illegal items.

Additionally, a cargo-specific Multi Energy Portal (MEP) scanning system is being installed at the World Trade Bridge, further enhancing the security infrastructure at Laredo’s border crossings. Similar systems are already operational at the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge, showcasing CBP’s commitment to securing U.S. borders while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.–News Desk