New non-intrusive inspection systems to be added to Juarez-Lincoln Bridge

As the traveling public starts to see metal frames going up, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Laredo Port of Entry management advises that US CBP has already begun installation of Low Energy Portal (LEP) scanning systems at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge. The systems will be placed in the passenger vehicle queuing areas south of the primary inspection booths and scan arriving vehicular traffic.

“The LEP system will scan arriving vehicular traffic, the images will be reviewed in real time to identify potential threats and anomalies meriting further examination,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “The systems will supplement existing non-intrusive inspection technology, enhance border security, and will not impede current traffic flows.”

Initial construction has begun on the west side of the bridge and will move eastward during installation. The construction is not expected to impede arriving northbound traffic. Port traffic will be routed around construction zones but access to all 15 inspection booths will remain. In addition, contractors plan to work during the night to further reduce any impact on northbound vehicle traffic. The goal is to have construction completed by the end of the calendar year with implementation to begin in early 2025.

Once operational, vehicular traffic will flow toward the LEP systems after they cross the international boundary and before they reach the primary inspection booth. CBP personnel will review the imagery generated by the system and follow through with additional screening if any anomalies or issues are noted. There will be an option available for those who elect to not drive through the LEP system utilizing existing inspection protocols.

In 2020, Congress appropriated $59 million for CBP to procure and install these non-intrusive inspection systems.

CBP utilizes Non-Intrusive Inspection equipment to aid in the detection of illicit narcotics.  The NII systems program supports the detection and prevention of contraband, including weapons, weapons of mass effect or destruction, drugs, currency, and other illegal merchandise, from entering or furthering their entry into the United States, while supporting a minimal impact on the flow of legitimate commerce.  This program is an essential aspect of the CBP’s layered enforcement strategy. This technology includes but is not limited to: vehicle, handheld and baggage X-rays, presumptive identification devices for chemicals and density meters. 

The use of NII technologies increases the probability of CBP’s Office of Field Operations detecting weapons and destructive devices, as well as narcotics that may be hidden in conveyances, and preventing them from entering or furthering entry into the United States.  NII technologies aid in the identification and prevention of undeclared currency and contraband being smuggled into the United States.

In addition to the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge LEP system, CBP is also installing a cargo Multi Energy Portal (MEP) scanning system south of the primary inspection lanes at World Trade Bridge.  These systems have been installed and are operational at the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge.