South Bay residents ‘ecstatic’ Otay Mesa Road project almost done

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SAN DIEGO -- It's taken almost three and a half years to finish the reconstruction of a portion of Otay Mesa Road just north of San Ysidro.

The project took a lot longer than expected and it cost $13.5 million instead of the original $9 million budgeted for the work.

Residents of Remington Hills just north of San Ysidro have had to put up with delays, dust and detours and they couldn't be happier their wait is almost over.

"It's about time. All my neighbors will be ecstatic about it. It's been way too long," said resident Claudia Úribe.

Originally, the job was conceived to provide better and safer commutes for students attending San Ysidro High School.

This short portion of Otay Mesa Road had no sidewalks and just a two-lane winding road with lots of potholes.

But the first contractor failed to do the job and a spokesperson for the city said retaining walls then had to be redesigned to accommodate for a 24-inch water main and that "unforeseen conditions with the soil" also added to the delays.

And during nesting season for an endangered hawk, the work had to be stopped for months at a time.

"I think just about everyone was tired the project was taking so long," said resident Ed Johnson.

The new roadway will give residents like Johnson better access to state Route 905 and eliminate long detours through San Ysidro.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to be May 13 although the road could open to traffic a lot sooner.

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