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Freeway connector to border in Otay Mesa is complete

The final link of a South County road network that seeks to improve mobility in the border region has been completed. Now will follow the construction of the long-awaited second border crossing at Otay Mesa.

Caltrans and SANDAG representatives, along with federal, state, local and Mexican officials, celebrated Tuesday the completion of southbound State Route 125 to the westbound SR-905 freeway connector in Otay Mesa. The new link marks the completion of the SR-125, SR-905 and SR-11 freeway network.

SANDAG and Caltrans officials expect the new connection to open to traffic sometime next week.

United States and Mexican government officials on July 26, 2022, in Otay Mesa participated in an event celebrating the completion of state Route 125 to westbound Route 905 that will improve traffic flow throughout the region. The next project will be a new port of entry expected to be completed by 2024.

(Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

It also improves traffic flow and access and creates a seamless connection between border communities and the rest of San Diego, said SANDAG President and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear.

“We can move people and goods more efficiently across the region and in doing so are able to reduce traffic congestion and travel delays, improving travel times and air quality for our border communities,” said Blakespear during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

This $28.9 million project was funded in part by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

“This is a very important milestone,” said Caltrans District 11 Director Gustavo Dallarda. “Now, we are ready to build the actual Otay Mesa East port of entry.”

Preparatory work on the US side will begin next month with the goal of completing construction by September 2024. or sooner if possible.

The new port of entry, also known as Otay II, will have 10 lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, with the choice of these lanes being interchangeable depending on time and demand.

Unlike other border crossings, such as San Ysidro or the existing one at Otay Mesa, the new port of entry will require tolls collected upon exiting the US-side inspection point. Proceeds will be split between the US and Mexico.

The toll price will vary based on demand and guarantee an average wait time of 20 minutes or less, Dallarda said.

Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, consul general of Mexico in San Diego

Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, speaks to U.S. and Mexican officials during an event celebrating the completion of westbound state Route 125 to westbound State Route 905 on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Otay Mesa.

(Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

On the Mexican side, the project is also moving forward to be delivered within the timeline agreed upon by the two countries, said Carlos González Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego.

“The Mexican government is doing its part, knowing that here in the U.S. construction is slated to begin next month,” he said.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) praised the bipartisan partnership. “It’s incredible to see what can be achieved when both our countries come together in a united front.

“The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry will help achieve our bold new vision to transform the way people and goods move across our region, improving regional mobility, enhancing cross-national trade and fueling economic growth for both USA as well as for Mexico,” said Vargas.

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Freeway connector to border in Otay Mesa is complete Source link Freeway connector to border in Otay Mesa is complete

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