USDOT, California sign off on new San Diego border crossing

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A new border crossing in San Diego intended to reduce wait times between the United States and Mexico is one step closer to reality thanks to an agreement signed Thursday, Jan. 15, with the California Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced.

“This new crossing will afford the people and businesses of southern California additional capacity that is critical for safe and efficient cross-border travel,” Transportation Secretary Mary Peters says.

To provide more capacity for traffic throughout the region, the San Diego project will consist of a new Otay Mesa East port of entry, located two miles east of the existing Otay Mesa entry point; and a new 2.7-mile four-lane highway, State Route 11, linking the port of entry to the existing California highway system.

The project is intended to reduce traffic congestion and frequent wait times that are sometimes more than four hours for commercial truckers coming into southern California. It also will provide a seamless connection from SR11 to the Tijuana Rosarito Corridor and the Tijuana-Tecate and Tijuana-Ensenada toll roads in Baja California, Mexico.

The project is part of USDOT’s Transportation Border Congestion Relief Program, which is designed to facilitate and accelerate transportation-related capacity and operational improvements at border crossings. California’s Otay Mesa East is one of the three projects included in the federal initiative.

Peters says that as part of the congestion relief program, the project would receive priority access, consistent with current law, to many of USDOT’s assistance programs, including loans and other financing mechanisms.