The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is making progress to construct a third port of entry between Tijuana and San Diego to ease transportation woes for commuters between the two countries.
The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry will be the second gate in Otay Mesa and the third between San Diego County and Mexico. Construction on the estimated $1 billion binational project started in 2013 and work on the last segment began in 2019. The port is estimated to be completed in 2024 and NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 wanted to check out the progress.
The lot is currently a vacant lot, full of mud and dirt, it will become a transportation hub filled with the latest technology and with the ability to reduce wait times at other checkpoints by up to 50%, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The upgraded POE will include a new border wait time detection system, advanced traveler information to improve route planning and an optimized port capacity.
The massive project is currently underway on a 100-acre plot -- about the same size as Disneyland.
Officials from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) affirm that the innovative gate will be built according to the public's need, depending on demand.
"The idea is for the gate to grow, ”said Mario Orso, Border Corridor Director for Caltrans, District 11 told Telemundo 20 in Spanish. “For opening day, it may be 10 lanes, but the innovativeness of this gate is that it's designed in a way that you would not have to knock it down or make a new one."
Unlike the rest of the ports of entry between California and Mexico, this one will have a toll fee, but it will not be located at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection booths, but on the United States bridge. The cost has not yet been specified and could vary between commercial and cargo cars.
But Caltrans believes drivers will see the benefit because it is expected to speed up the border crossing wait time.