The road is part of the designated truck route for the POE. The project will raise the intersection of La Media and Airway roads to address persistent flooding.
''This is a great day for San Diego,'' Mayor Todd Gloria said. ''An improved La Media Road will bring good jobs, economic growth and far more efficient movement of goods through the Otay Mesa border crossing. Without a doubt, this is a beacon of progress and opportunity for our entire binational region.''
The road will also be expanded to a six-lane primary arterial from State Route 905 to Airway Road, and a five-lane major road between Airway and Siempre Viva roads with three southbound lanes and two northbound lanes. Additional improvements include buffered bike lanes, parkway landscaping, traffic signal installation and pedestrian improvements, including curb ramps and continental crosswalks, according to a city statement.
San Diego secured $22.7 million in state grant funds to help cover the costs of the construction phase of the project. With the help of Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, the city worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite permits allowing construction to proceed.
''Widening La Media Road, between Siempre Viva Road and the designated truck route, to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, will enhance the movement of goods — improving our local and regional economy,'' Vargas said. ''It will also lower traffic in the area and increase public safety by allowing emergency vehicles a dedicated road shoulder to travel freely.''
Additionally, the city worked with the Otay Water District to reimburse it for relocating water facilities.
La Media Road will be closed in both directions from SR 905 to Avenida de la Fuente during construction. All access to southbound La Media Road from both SR 905 off-ramps will remain closed while the La Media Road closure is in effect.
''This project will repair a vital piece of our freight transportation network and make cross-border commerce more efficient while lowering greenhouse gas emissions by reducing truck idling and congestion caused by trucks on local streets,'' said City Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, who represents District 8, where the project is located.
According to the city, the work will take place in two phases. The first phase includes La Media Road from SR 905 to Avenida de la Fuente and is expected to be completed in spring 2024 with the reopening of the intersection, allowing truck traffic through the designated truck route.
Work will then shift south on La Media Road from Avenida de la Fuente to Siempre Viva Road and include partial traffic closures. That phase is expected to be completed in fall 2024.