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Customs Officials Rescind Proposal to Close San Ysidro Bridge

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Customs and Border Protection officials have backed off the idea of closing a busy pedestrian bridge at the San Ysidro border crossing. Officials had considered the move to address security concerns. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Thousands of people who are headed south to Tijuana use the bridge in question everyday. It begins near the San Ysidro trolley stop, runs alongside the port's offices, and over the secondary inspections area, before dropping down to the gate to Tijuana.

The port's operations director, Adel Fasano, says some people use the vantage point the bridge offers to spy on customs agents working in secondary.  She says there are also fights on the bridge, especially on weekend, that customs agents spend time breaking up.

Fasano : So, we can't afford to wait until 2014 to address this issue, which is when the San Ysidro project is expected to be completed.

A lack of funding has delayed the project. In the meantime, Fasano says they'll meet with community groups next week to develop alternatives to closing the bridge.

Representatives with the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce say they're willing to help foot the bill for private security guards to patrol the area.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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