Plan overview of the new Garita Otay II project./ Photo: Courtesy

Two years ago, on November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Program Act into law. Since then, this program has been a cornerstone of the administration’s economic and social development support policies.

And that was precisely the subject covered during the 2023 Infrastructure Forum, which was held at the Department of Transportation of California (CALTRANS), District 11 facilities, and was arranged by the South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC for short).

With the support of local entrepreneurs, the undersecretary US Transportation Policy Deputy, Goldein Scott, outlined the top goals in which the federal government strives to promote development.

A part of the business forum attendance./ Photo: Horacio Rentería

In a message sent remotely, the federal official announced the approval and permission of the $150 million fund, which includes the new Otay Mesa Port of Entry and a new Toll Road or toll (State Route 11) project.

He added that zero-emission charging for staff cars and inspection teams for US Customs and Border Protection are also being considered.

He reminded us that these resources also take into account the Federal Security Administration’s “Autotransport,” the installation of commercial vehicles intended for use by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the deployment of Transportation Systems’ “Intelligent Security (ITS) along the Port of Entry.”

This infrastructure is “in progress,” according to CALTRANS.

Participants in the Q&A session included local business owners./Photo: Horacio Rentería

The recommendation to “prioritize the disadvantaged communities with the aim of improving access to daily needs such as employment, education, food, and recreation” was one of the topics Scott focused particularly on during his remote presentation.

The Undersecretary of Transportation also stated that “reconnecting communities by removing, modernizing or mitigating roads or other transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity, including access to mobility and economic development,” was one of the main goals he had for the business people in attendance at the forum.

The representative emphasized that the US Department of Transportation has as its primary goal to “actively reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries in roads and streets” until there are “zero fatalities” in the system.

It is important to note that Job Nelson, Vice President of Strategy and Policy at the Port of San Diego, and Alan Dulgeroff, Director of the System San Diego Gas & Electric, were scheduled to speak at the event.

*Translated by Carolina Herrera

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