State Route 11 and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry: 2023 updates

Major construction milestones are expected in the modern-day, high-tech port of entry designed to reduce border wait times and bolster the binational economy. 🏗️

SD SR-11 Otay Mesa East Port of Entry construction

The construction site in late March 2022.

Photo via SANDAG

Construction continues on the binational, multi-agency, $1.5 billion project to build a new US-Mexico border crossing in Otay Mesaand major progress is expected throughout 2023.

Let’s roll into what’s planned for the State Route 11/ Otay Mesa East Port of Entry as it continues to take shape in time to open by its projected date of September 2024. 🛣️

🏗️ Making strides

Otay Mesa East is a joint effort by SANDAG, Caltrans, and state and federal partners in the US and Mexico. The goal is to create a modern-day, multimodal land port of entry for the San Diego-Baja Region that will help reduce those notoriously long border wait times, relieve pressure on existing ports of entry, and stimulate trade.

SANDAG says the project aims to “improve regional security and safety, bolster the binational economy, improve mobility and efficiency, and foster innovative technology solutions.”

To get there, these are the goals:

  • In early 2023, the project team will begin designing the facilities featuring interchangeable passenger and commercial vehicle primary inspection lanes.
  • Crews will complete the Siempre Viva Road Interchange — a transition between SR-11and the 15-lane toll plaza, the existing Otay Mesa Port of Entry, and Otay Mesa East.
  • The Border Wait Time System will be completed, a key component of the project’s goal of 20-minute average border crossing wait times.
  • In late 2023, crews will begin site prep work including mass grading and the relocation and installation of utilities.
US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry site in San Diego in November 2022.

US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the site in November 2022.

Photo via @SDCaltrans

🚧 Bit by bit

We touched on the project’s milestones early last year, but these highlights have kept the efforts trucking along:

  • July 2022: Officials celebrated the opening of the connector between southbound State Route 125 and westbound State Route 905 — which will eventually connect to the future Otay Mesa East.
  • August 2022: US and Mexico officials held a symbolic groundbreaking of Otay Mesa East.
  • September 2022: The White House announced it was awarding $150 million in funding for the local project — part of $1.5 billion in grants for 26 transportation projects across the US.
  • October 2022: Caltrans, SANDAG, and US and Mexican dignitaries signed the historic Binational Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement, vowing to split the toll revenue between both countries from Otay Mesa East.
  • November 2022: US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited San Diego to celebrate the aforementioned $150 million federal investment in the project.
US and Mexico dignitaries sign the Binational Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement in San Diego in October 2022.

The historic signing of the Binational Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement.

Photo via @SDCaltrans

👀 Feeling fairly up to speed on this major infrastructure development? Catch up on the full timeline of the project (in the works since 1998), check for construction notices, peep progress pics, or hop on a virtual tour. Más información en Español se encuentra aquí y aquí.

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