by Photo courtesy of Caltrans/SANDAG

Construction crews will break ground on the Otay Mesa East port of Entry next week to enhance regional mobility, fuel economic growth, and binational trade. 

Local elected officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday before construction crews break ground, according to a news release. The Otay Mesa East port of Entry and State Route 11 is a joint effort between SANDAG and Caltrans in collaboration with state, local, and federal partners in the U.S. and Mexico, to “create a 21st-century border crossing for the San Diego-Baja California”. 

According to SANDAG, the SR 11/OME POE project will facilitate job growth and new economic opportunities for private sectors on both sides of the border. Currently, more than 90 percent of California-Mexico trade is moved by truck. In 2019, the Otay Mesa and Tecate ports of entry processed a combined $48.3 billion in total bilateral trade, and that number is expected to grow over the coming years. 

Current wait times can exceed 120 minutes for passenger vehicles and 150 minutes for commercial vehicles, according to Caltrans. The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry will have an estimated average wait time of 20 minutes, which will facilitate cross-border travel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by prolonged vehicle idling. 

The border crossing is expected to open in 2024. 

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