With new California border crossing in the works, connecting highway also takes shape

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Officially, it will be known as California State Route 11. Unofficially, it will be seen as an easier way to cruise into Southern California from Mexico.

The new highway will connect the new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, scheduled to break ground in late 2022, to the freeway system in San Diego.

It’s a much anticipated border crossing expected to alleviate traffic congestion at the other two ports of entry between San Diego and Tijuana where traffic waits can be up to eight hours.

Most of the $850 million for the crossing and State Route 11 is coming from Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation and SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments.

Part of the 200 acres now under construction for a new state highway and border crossing southeast of San Diego. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

When the crossing is done, sometime in late 2024, those who use it to enter the U.S. will have to pay a toll, which will help to finance the highway.

Mario Orso, Caltrans Corridor Director. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“Through studies, we saw how the economy of San Diego, California and our nation is seeing a huge impact by long border wait times,” said Mario Orso, Caltrans Corridor Director. “We have acquired about 100 acres just for the proposed border crossing and 100 for the highway itself.”

“The crossing won’t be 100 acres when it opens, but it will grow in time and it will be larger than Disneyland,” said Orso.

According to a timeline, officials hope to be finished with State Route 11 by the end of 2021. The new border crossing is expected to be in operation by 2024/2025.

Orso believes border wait times should be about 20 minutes at the new crossing.

“It will be the border crossing of the 21st century,” he said.

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