News Ports

U.S. and Mexico work toward a new port entry in eastern in Otay Mesa


Under a row of giant electrical towers will lie the roadway that will become the wide Boulevard Las Torres (The Towers) that will lead to the new Otay 2 international border crossing in Tijuana and Otay Mesa East, on the U.S. side, about three miles east of the current Otay Mesa border crossing.

Construction is set to begin in September 2022, with the crossing operating in 2024.

On the U.S. side, progress can already be seen in the construction of state Route 11, an access road that will connect the new entrance with Routes 94 and 125. The $565 million project started in December 2019, according to Mario Orso, project director with Caltrans.

In Baja California, Karen Postlethwaite Montijo, head of the Secretary of Infrastructure and Urban Development of the State or Sidue, said the project will cost 3.2 billion pesos (about $173 million). The money will be used in the construction of the road to reach the port and the purchase of land. About 40 houses will be removed and the owners compensated. Mexican authorities recently consolidated the right-of-way in the project area.

A tour of the area in the colonia Magisterial in Tijuana showed that the area borders an industrial park and the international fence of rusted bollards. Most of the land is vacant and is used to park or store shipping containers.

Construction on the Future Toll Road State Route 11 – February 2021

At the other end of the project, large steel towers hold up a high-voltage line through which the California and Baja California regions share a power grid. The structures will be replaced by concrete poles and the road will be equipped with six access lanes that will meet the international wall, turn left and connect to the port of entry.

Ten lanes for vehicles and 10 for cargo are planned for the port. The lanes will be reversible to meet the highest-demand traffic, and creating shorter wait times than other international ports, Postlethwaite said in an interview. The port will have a toll that will be levied based on guaranteed waiting times.

Orso, the Caltrans official, said in a videoconference interview that together with the SANDAG, they are working closely with Mexican authorities, as a third part of the project will be financed by toll revenue.

María Rodríguez Molina, project manager with Caltrans, said that this summer the agency expect the results of studies to determine what it should cost to pass through the new international toll booth. The amount will be collected on the U.S. side. In the first estimates, Rodríguez said the cost could vary depending on demand up to a maximum of $12 to $15 for vehicles and up to $20 or $25 for cargo trucks.

That would guarantee a 20-minute waiting time, and it would reduce traffic at the city’s other two ports of entry, Rodriguez said.

For Postlethwaite, the Baja California official, the greatest benefit is to reduce vehicle congestion and lessen environmental harm. She also said the new port will help the region’s economy by facilitating the movement of good and services.


Source link