by Photo courtesy of SANDAG via Twitter

Binational leaders celebrated the completion of a freeway connector on Tuesday, which will decrease traffic congestion in the border region and improve mobility. 

Caltrans and SANDAG officials were joined by federal, state, local, and Mexican officials to celebrate the completion of a $28.9 million project that connects southbound State Route 125 to westbound State Route 905 in Otay Mesa. Officials said the new connector will open to the public next week. 

“The completion of SR 11 will be a monumental step forward in the development of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas. “Today, we are one step closer to realizing an innovative new border crossing that will reduce wait times, foster trade growth, and strengthen our binational economy.”

According to Caltrans, the Otay Mesa and Tecate ports of entry processed a combined $47.5 billion in 2018 in total bilateral trade. The SR 11 and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project will facilitate job growth and new economic opportunities for private sectors on both sides of the border.

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. 

Officials expect to break ground on the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry next month, with projected completion by September 2024. 

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