Stantec Wins Highest Engineering Award for Sustainable Pedestrian Travel from Mexico

February 5, 2021 12:00 PM EST

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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Council of Engineering Companies, California (ACEC California) announced today that Stantec, a top tier global design and delivery firm, has been honored with their prestigious 2021 Golden State Award for its work on the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, in San Diego, California.

The Golden State Award is the highest honor ACEC California bestows as part of its annual Engineering Excellence Awards program.

The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (SYLPOE) is the busiest international border crossing in the western hemisphere, connecting two communities united by a social, economic, and cultural fabric. Close to 70,000 vehicles and over 20,000 pedestrians cross north from Mexico each day, a vital and irreplaceable cornerstone of the region's economy.

To accommodate growth and better meet the changing needs of the traveling public, the United States General Services Administration (GSA) undertook a multi-phase expansion of SYLPOE with a goal of building a "Port of the Future" that is sustainable, operationally scalable and has a reduced carbon footprint.

"In a year that has brought so much devastation to the world's residents and economy, it is refreshing to step back and take a moment to honor the unwavering expertise and innovation in the Golden State," said Brad Diede, Executive Director of the American Council of Engineering Companies, California. "Transportation systems sustain the health of the economy by keeping people and goods moving efficiently, and Stantec's contribution to facilitate the mobility of the San Diego/Tijuana area should be celebrated. They are well deserving of this award."

The design-build team of Hensel Phelps and Stantec completed Phase II of the three-phase GSA expansion and renovation project, delivering a complete reconstruction of the LPOE's pedestrian- and bus-inspection facilities. The design achieved LEED Platinum certification and stringent energy-reduction targets. Key project components include: 

  • East Pedestrian Processing Facility: This building provides state-of-the-art customs facilities and queuing functions for U.S.-bound pedestrian travelers. 
  • Historic Customs House: A major renovation of this circa 1932 building listed in the National Register of Historic Places includes a new second-story addition on the north wing to facilitate processing for southbound travelers. A new courtyard was also created to the rear of the building.
  • Southbound Pedestrian Plaza: A new public plaza unites the east side of the complex and integrates the facility with the infrastructure and rhythms of the surrounding community to enhance and celebrate this unique location. 
  • Virginia Avenue Transit Center (VATC): Associated with GSA's West Pedestrian project, the VATC provides multi-modal transportation options for approximately half of the daily influx of 20,000 pedestrian travelers.  
  • Employee Pedestrian Bridges: Connects the existing Headhouse and the East Ped, simplifying access and providing safer passage between the two major buildings.
  • Community-focused Artwork: Artwork interprets the cross-border dynamics in a vibrant community setting. A salient artistic feature includes a dynamic sculpture in the Southbound Pedestrian Plaza from local artist Rueben Ochoa that pays homage to his bi-national heritage from both sides of the border. 

The 2021 Golden State Award winner was selected out of 51 projects and announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards virtual celebration on February 4, 2021. The awards celebration also served as a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, which provides scholarship awards to graduate and undergraduate college students that are recognized for their notable and outstanding academic achievements.

Photographs of the Golden State Award winner and all Honor and Merit Award winning projects can be found here.

To learn more about Stantec's commitment to communities across the globe, please visit

ACEC California is a statewide association representing over 1,000 private consulting engineering and land-surveying firms that average 20 employees each. ACEC California is dedicated to enhancing the consulting engineering and land surveying professions, protecting the general public and promoting the use of the private sector in the growth and development of our state. Our members provide services for all phases of planning, designing and constructing projects. For more information, visit 

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SOURCE American Council of Engineering Companies, California

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