🏗️ 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.
🚧 Bit by bit
- 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.
👀 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.