More than $200M going to Vermont land ports of entry

More than $200 million in federal funding is going toward upgrading five land port of entry projects on the Vermont-Canadian border, federal officials said Friday.

More than $150 million of it will be used to renovate the Vermont port in Highgate Springs at the northern terminus of Interstate 89, which links the United States with Saint-Armand and Philipsburg, Quebec. The port is one of the busiest in New England, the U.S. General Services Administration said.

The new facility is key as Canadian Auto-Route 35 connecting to Interstate 89 in Highgate Springs is expected to be completed in 2025, officials said. That will mean more traffic entering the United States through Vermont, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy has said. The new land port of entry will improve safety for the public and officers and speed up crossing times, officials said.

“The economies of communities on both sides of the border are intertwined,” Leahy said in a statement. “The process for crossing the border has changed in the last 20 years. Yet some of the ports have seen few upgrades since they were constructed more than 80 years ago. There can be significant delays in crossing at peak times.”