United States

Traffic Backed Up As Otay Mesa POE Lanes Remain Closed

Roughly $42 billion worth of goods go through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry each year

As two lanes remain closed at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, drivers are noticing traffic back ups on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

For people who cross the border every day for work or school, it means a longer commute. 

"It usually takes me an hour to cross the border in my car," said Paul Coronado, who crosses the border weekly to meet with customers for his business. "But now it's been taking like three hours." 

The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is trafficked heavily by 18-wheel trucks carrying cargo between the two countries, roughly $42 billion worth of goods each year, according to statistics from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). 

On Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced they would reduce the number of commercial lanes that these trucks frequent from 10 to eight and would suspend after-hours services.

The changes come as some of the port's border patrol officers are reassigned; the Trump administration said on Monday up to 2,000 inspectors from border crossings would be pulled to handle a surge of families arriving at the U.S.- Mexico border, many of them Central American asylum seekers.

"We should treat American citizens the way we treat them at the airport when they cross the border: fast and secure," added Coronado. 

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