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San Ysidro Border Crossing Expansion Awaits Funding

Expansion of the San Ysidro border crossing could begin as soon as spring of 2009. Federal officials say the major roadblock is funding. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

 The $520 million project would add eight northbound lanes from Tijuana to San Diego. The 30-year-old port facility would be renovated to include new technology that federal officials say would improve security and traffic.

So far, Congress has appropriated just $34 million for the expansion. Project Director Ramon Risesgo says he crosses the border often and knows upgrades are urgently needed. He hopes Congress will understand, too.

Risesgo: I think Congress is a smart group of folks that understand economics and social impacts. And it might not be done at once, but I think it will eventually be done.

SANDAG estimates the San Diego region loses at least $2 billion a year due to long border waits. Mexico’s federal government must also give the project a green light. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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