SAN DIEGO - A pedestrian crossing and transit center that opened Friday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry is designed to get people across the border and on their way into San Diego faster.
Called "PedWest," the 22,300-square-foot pedestrian facility on the west side of the border crossing has a dozen northbound processing lanes and two reversible lanes, according to the U.S. General Services Administration and Customs and Border Protection.
"One cannot exaggerate the significance of the largest-ever pedestrian expansion to the busiest land border crossing in the western hemisphere," said GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth.
"Management of land ports of entry is one of the General Services Administration's most important missions," Roth said. "These facilities are a crucial strategic national investment, helping secure our borders, and contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the American economy."
The new pedestrian facility is part of a broader overhaul meant to expand the San Ysidro Port of Entry, and will operate for three years while a larger structure is built on the east side of the border crossing.
The pedestrian crossing currently on the east side will have its number of lanes reduced during the project, so people walking across are encouraged to use PedWest, according to the GSA.
The Virginia Street Transit Center will accommodate buses, taxis and private vehicles dropping passengers off or picking people up.
Officials said around 25,000 pedestrians enter the U.S. daily at San Ysidro, the busiest border crossing in the Western Hemisphere. Lines during peak periods can force waits of a couple of hours or more.
According to the U.S. General Services Administration, the pedestrian facility is part of a $735 million renovation of the border crossing that will continue to at least 2019.