State Route 11 + Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project: The plan and the progress

SR11-OtayMesaEastPortofEntry

A still image from this overview of the project. | Photo via SANDAG

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A $1 billion project to build a new, innovative US-Mexico border crossing in Otay Mesa is hitting milestones — on track to open by September 2024.

The longtime vision truly takes a village. The State Route 11/ Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is a joint effort between SANDAG, Caltrans, and state + federal partners in the US and Mexico. Let’s look at the goals and progress of the border infrastructure project.

SR11-OtayMesaEastPOE-Map

A map of the project’s progress in January 2022. | Map via SANDAG

🏗️ The big picture

The San Diego-Tijuana metro region currently has three land ports of entry: San Ysidro (the largest locally + fourth busiest land border crossing in the world), Otay Mesa + Tecate. And San Diegans know border wait times are notoriously long.

According to SANDAG, in 2019, the Otay Mesa + Tecate commercial ports of entry processed a combined $48.3 billion in total bilateral trade. As the US-Mexico border region grows, improvement is needed to move goods, services + passengers through a more efficient, integrated system.

Cue the SR-11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry — a brand-new addition to our region’s port of entry repertoire. The ambitious plan wants to:

  • Develop a multimodal land port of entry in coordination with Mexico’s future Mesa de Otay II Port of Entry
  • Reduce wait times + greenhouse gas emissions
  • Enhance regional mobility + ease traffic congestion
  • Fuel economic growth + bolster binational trade
  • Strengthen border security + resiliency
Otay Mesa East Port of Entry

A still image from the virtual tour of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry. | Photo via SANDAG

⚒️ The progress

The full timeline for this project dates back to 1998 — but in the spirit of reducing wait times, we’ll speed things up a bit.

  • June 28, 2021: Local dignitaries + leaders from Mexico celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to support the development of the crossings from both sides.
  • December 2021: SANDAG + Caltrans celebrated the grand opening of the southbound SR-125 to eastbound SR-905 and SR-11 connectors in Otay Mesa — critical infrastructure to support the new port of entry. The final segment of the future toll road SR-11 is currently under construction.
  • Feb. 14, 2022: Local, state, and federal leaders from the US and Mexico gathered for a binational summit to discuss the project + its importance. They’re also working on establishing a framework to share toll revenues for project funding.

As the project trucks along, you can keep up here and check out a virtual tour here. Mas información en Español se encuentra aquí y aquí.

SR-11 connectors

Local dignitaries celebrate the completion of the southbound SR-125 to eastbound SR- 905 and SR-11 connectors in Otay Mesa in December 2021.

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