Thursday, August 5, 2010
A pedestrian bridge between Otay Mesa and Tijuana’s international airport has come one step closer to becoming a reality after getting U.S. State Department approval.
SAN DIEGO A pedestrian bridge between Otay Mesa and Tijuana’s international airport has come one step closer to becoming a reality after getting U.S. State Department approval.
The proposed pedestrian bridge would give ticketed airline passengers a way to bypass the often hours-long waits at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings.
A 525-foot, covered bridge would connect the airport in Tijuana to a new U.S. Border and Customs checkpoint in Otay Mesa.
Cindy Gompper-Graves, CEO of the South County Economic Development Council, said the bridge could make the region more attractive to companies.
“One of the things we get asked by companies looking to locate here is access to international markets. There are some opportunities to augment what Lindbergh Field is already doing by using the Tijuana airport. For instance, flights to Japan and flights to China and easier flights to other places in Mexico,” she said.
The Mexican government and the cities of San Diego and Tijuana must also sign off on the project before construction can begin. Private investors would pay for that construction and earn the money back through passenger tolls, parking fees, and services like car rental and ground transportation.
A pedestrian bridge to the airport was first proposed by the South County Economic Development Council in 1998. The economic climate may have changed dramatically since then, but Gompper-Graves said projects like this one are important for future economic growth.
“In these tough economic times, when people keep getting mired down in the existing stuff, we want to make sure we keep looking for economic opportunities and this is a huge one for our binational region,” she said.