by Courtesy of SANDAG

Completion of a toll freeway that provides direct access to Otay Mesa, Chula Vista and East County was celebrated on Dec.16 by binational state leaders and state officials in a ribbon cutting ceremony.  

Representatives from Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) were joined by local politicians to celebrate the new freeway connections that is set to improve mobility, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the border region for improve economies on both sides of the border. 

Commuters will soon be able to use connectors in Otay Mesa on southbound state Route125 to eastbound state Route 11. With the recent winter storm, the freeway's lane stripes had washed off the asphalt. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is scheduled to repaint the stripes and freeway connectors are slated to open by Saturday morning.

This freeway will provide direct access to San Diego's third border crossing, the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry which is scheduled to open late 2024.  According to officials, once the port opens the SR-11 will serve as a toll road.  

A diverging diamond interchange and a border wait time system will be incorporated. Officials say that the opening of the third port of entry is expected to help control traffic and reduce wait times up to 50 percent in the existing Otay Mesa and San Ysidro crossings. With this new state route, average wait times are anticipated to be 20 minutes to cross the border.

Officials say the new state route is anticipated to benefit the entire region. In 2018, the Otay Mesa and Tecate ports of entry processed a combined $47.5 billion in total bilateral trade, and that number is expected to grow over the coming years

The State Route 11 (SR 11) and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project was a joint effort between Caltrans and SANDAG alongside bilateral federal and state leaders.

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