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Biden Administration adds funding for Otay Mesa East Port of Entry

Biden Administration adds funding for Otay Mesa East Port of Entry
Posted at 11:31 AM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 18:27:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Biden Administration is helping improve wait times at our border crossing.

A large amount of cash has been added to help with the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry expansion. A new toll road and facility are expected to be built within the next couple of years.

The Otay Mesa East Port of entry will just be a few miles from the existing border crossing. Local leaders say it will have a big impact on our region. The goal is to reduce wait times, improve cross-border trade, and more.

“We know that we have to build another opening and that’s Otay Mesa east,” says Congressman Juan Vargas. “Otherwise we will not be able to keep up with all of the commerce and the people that are being generated.”

Local leaders broke ground on Otay Mesa East in August.

On Thursday, the Biden administration awarded $1.5 billion from the Infrastructure For Rebuilding America grant program. The money will be divided between the Otay Mesa East expansion and other projects across the U.S. that will help make transportation systems safer and more efficient.

“$150 million of that is going to go right here to San Diego, to Otay Mesa which we need,” says Vargas. “We need to finish off this project.”

The expansion is a toll border crossing. State Route 905 will lead drivers to the existing port of entry. But State Route 11, a toll road that’s currently under construction, will take drivers to Otay Mesa East.

“It will be a land port of entry that you pay but you won’t be in line more than 20 minutes.”

SANDAG says this will provide an alternative for nearly 3,600 trucks that cross the border. Without the expansion, wait times for trucks would be over six hours long by 2040.

Congressman Vargas says the project will bring more jobs to the area. Construction is expected to wrap up by late 2024.