Mexico, California signs contract to open new border crossing by late 2024

Alexandra Mendoza
From the San Diego Union-Tribune

Otai Mesa, CA — The governments of California and Mexico signed an agreement on Monday, promising to work together to provide a new border crossing in Otai Mesa on time by late 2024.

Unlike other ports of entry operated in San Isidro and Otaimesa, this new gate requires tolls and an average 20 minute waiting time to cross the border.

Today, cross-border passenger cars and commercial trucks between Tijuana and San Diego can withstand tedious waiting and can be harmful to business and the environment, officials said.

“This new port of entry not only promotes economic activity, but also improves the quality of life of millions of Californians and Mexicans who frequently cross one of the world’s busiest borders,” California said. State Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis said. ..

“A great example of California’s leadership in the fight against climate change. This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve regional mobility.”

Otay Mesa East, also known as the Otay II project, is expected to help reduce waiting times at existing border crossings and provide an annual financial boost of $ 1.8 billion.

By signing the Memorandum of Understanding, the two countries are committed to achieving their respective construction projects, quickly resolving policy issues and establishing a framework for sharing project funding toll revenues.

“We know what it takes to get it done. After the signing ceremony at the construction site in Otai Mesa, California Secretary of Transportation David S. Kim said:

On the California side, the $ 1 billion project has already secured $ 565 million in local, state, and federal funding. The rest is expected to be covered primarily by toll revenue.

On the Mexican side, more than $ 186 million in first-stage investment in construction and access roads is being considered, according to Roberto Velasco, director of North America for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico.

Last year, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador included the Otay II project in an infrastructure program aimed at revitalizing the economy.

Velasco emphasized that the project is a symbol of strong bilateral relations. “We believe in building bridges, not walls. This is important to us in that sense,” he said.

“This is the future of our desired relationship between the United States and Mexico. A future in which we are more connected and enable the different possibilities that life at the border offers to both countries.”

María Rodríguez-Molina, project manager at SANDAG, initially explained that Otay Mesa East has five lanes for vehicles and another five lanes for commercial trucks, with the option to replace them on time and demand. Did.

Fees are not collected at US Customs and Border Protection inspection points, but are collected at “electronic payments” or at tollhouses located on State Route 11 in the United States.

Toll collection is done for both northbound and southbound traffic. Mario Orso, project director at Caltrans, added that the revenue will be shared between the United States and Mexico.

On the US side, the project began eight years ago with the construction of the SR-11. Construction of a new port is currently underway in a 100-acre area a few miles east of the current Otaimesa border crossing.

Construction will begin next year in Tijuana, in line with the time frame established by both countries.

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