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International Falls Land Port of Entry

Replacing a land port of entry facility, while avoiding and minimizing impacts.
  • The 24-hour LPOE serves as a crossing for vehicles, trains, buses, and pedestrians-Gannett Fleming

    The 24-hour LPOE serves as a crossing for vehicles, trains, buses, and pedestrians.

  • The EIS considered the natural, social, and economic features of the area and region-Gannett Fleming

    The EIS considered the natural, social, and economic features of the area and region.

U.S. General Services Administration, Region 5

International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota

Our Role
Planning, Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Assessment, Public Involvement, Agency Coordination.

10 acres
New Construction
2 years 8 months
  • A clear decision-making process and informed public on the need for action 
  • Timely approval to proceed to design and construction of replacement facility 
  • Community support in the U.S. and Canada to advance the project rapidly.

The 24-hour land port of entry (LPOE) in International Falls, Minnesota, had many problems:  the existing facility was deficient in size, layout, and functionality, which made it difficult for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other federal agencies assigned to the LPOE to adequately fulfill their respective missions.

Situated along the along the U.S.– Canadian border, the LPOE provides controlled entry into or departure from the U.S., serving as the crossing for both passenger and commercial vehicles, trains, buses, and pedestrians via the International Bridge over the Rainy River. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) proposed to replace its existing LPOE with a new, $50 million LPOE that would improve the operational efficiency, safety, and security for both federal agency personnel and cross-border travelers.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) to document the planning and potential environmental impact of replacing the existing International Falls LPOE. We developed and considered both no-build and five build alternatives. 

Our environmental planning and documentation services were performed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the GSA’s policies and procedures for implementing NEPA. We also provided cost estimates in support of conceptual engineering services provided by others and prepared the EIS in a readable and understandable format, with color graphics and illustrations. The attractive, concise, and reader-friendly format of the EIS facilitated a timely and smooth public review process.

Key Features

  • Full accounting of the potential environmental impacts, including analysis of the natural, social, and economic features of the study area
  • Support developing the preferred alternative through public involvement and agency coordination
  • Conceptual design and cost estimates for the relocation portion of the railroad.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Assessed potential impacts to the Rainy River water quality
  • Addressed how changes would affect historic resources, specifically structures that are potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
  • Studied how changes in traffic patterns would impact revenue to the merchants in the International Falls central business district.

Similar Projects: Federal: Environmental, Federal, Transportation: Highways, Environmental Management & Remediation: Natural Resources & Restoration, Environmental Management & Remediation: NEPA Compliance & Documentation, Transportation: Planning, Environmental Management & Remediation: Socio-Economic Studies & Cultural Resources, State & Local Government, Water/Wastewater: Water Resources