It’s estimated that 90,000 people cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day.
With the biggest shopping weekend around the corner, that number is expected to be much higher.( Thu Nov 22 04:40:18 PST 2012 $__output )
But there is good news for border shoppers.
From Wednesday to Sunday, the San Ysidro Port of Entry has opened an additional six northbound lanes.( Fri Oct 26 21:20:16 PDT 2012 $__output )
Construction for the second phase of the border expansion project finished early which is giving a window before workers begin on phase three.
“We had the opportunity in July to look at the opportunity to open up additional lanes. We saw a decrease in wait time so we decided to do it once again in the holiday period,” said Joseph Misenhelter, Assistant Director of Passenger Operations at San Ysidro Port of Entry.
The City of San Ysidro hopes the 22 open lanes can make an impact on local businesses this weekend.
Instead of waiting the typical one to two hours at the border, it’s estimated that the wait will be down to only 40 minutes.
This means more shoppers crossing the border, faster.
“San Ysidro is on the map because it’s been this transition point between San Diego and Tijuana. Our businesses live or die by who crosses and how often. For the majority of our businesses, they make the bulk of their money in the holiday season to last them throughout the year,” Jason Wells, Executive Director, San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.
Customs and Border Protection agreed to the partnership with the City of San Ysidro to give the city an extra boost in profit and also to test the new six lanes.
“Businesses I talked to are expecting a 25 to 35 percent jump in sales compared to last year. We are already starting to see better signs of the economy locally, this should give it that extra push,” said Jason Wells.
The six lanes will close back up again on Monday and construction will resume.