OTAY MESA, Calif. — The commute out of the South Bay is about to become a lot less congested.
Three freeway ramps opened Wednesday near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. They connect State Routes 905 and 11 to State Route 125 north.
The new ramps mean drivers heading to the South Bay Expressway no longer have to get off the freeways to get on the toll road.
Dan Carson drives that route almost every week, as he and his wife go to visit her mother in Mexico.
“I’ve been waiting for that ramp to open up,” he said. “Every day I go by, is it open yet, is it open yet?”
In 2015, the Otay Mesa Port of Entry processed 7.8 million people heading into San Diego. All those drivers would have to drive through city streets to get on SR-125.
“You kind of wondered when they built this whole system, when they were going to logically make 905 connect with 125. It’s just like it should be that way,” added Carson.
“Before you’d have all those trucks and sometimes you’d have to sit all those lights for a couple cycles before you could make a left turn into the freeway,” said Emilio Tamez, who lives in the area.
The three new ramps were paid for with savings from other infrastructure projects around the county. Construction took about six months.
They’re just the beginning of a larger project around Otay Mesa.
In 2018, construction will begin to connect SR-125 south to the other freeways. Eventually, SANDAG hopes to build a new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry. The new ramps and roads will make access to the border crossing easier.
SANDAG officials also say the ramps open today will be critical to the South Bay Rapid, an express bus route taking passengers from the border to downtown.
They also hope drivers will now use the toll road as an alternative to avoid heavy traffic on Interstate 805.