SAN DIEGO — Crews will break ground next week on a highly anticipated new port of entry for the San Diego area, a facility that officials hope will speed up border wait times across the region.
The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, and accompanying toll road state Route 11, have been in the works for two decades. The border crossing is scheduled to open in 2024.
Local politicians will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the crossing Monday before construction crews get to work, Caltrans and SANDAG announced in a news release.
Billed as a “21st-century border crossing,” Otay Mesa East will provide another option for the San Diego-Tijuana mega-region, where roughly 100,000 people commute daily for work, school, doctors visits, shopping and more. The crossing is expected to play a key role in cross-border commerce, too.
A four-lane toll road will connect directly to the port of entry, which will use a border wait-time detection system to give travelers advanced notice and help them plan their route.
Transportation officials hope that optimization and other features — like lanes that can flexibly shift from commercial processing to passenger traffic, depending on demand — will lead to shorter waits at all local border crossings.
That’s a top priority, as clogged traffic lanes and long lines of idling cars at the border can have serious consequences for both the environment and U.S.-Mexico economies.
“The proposed border improvements will provide fast, predictable, and secure border crossings,” officials wrote in the news release.