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Connecting Cross-Border Commercial Traffic To The Freeway System

Just three more miles to go!

Audio

Aired 12/2/10

The opening of a three-mile stretch of highway 905 today is the first step toward improving the flow of goods across the Mexican border. Residents of Otay Mesa also hope it will make it a little easier for them to do business.

— The opening of a three-mile stretch of Highway 905 today is the first step toward improving the flow of goods across the Mexican border. Residents of Otay Mesa also hope it will make it a little easier for them to do business.

Alejandra Mier y Terán, Executive Director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, looks forward to the opening of a new stretch of 905.
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Above: Alejandra Mier y Terán, Executive Director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, looks forward to the opening of a new stretch of 905.

The heavy truck traffic crossing the border at the Otay Mesa port of entry has never had direct freeway access. That has meant traffic pileups on Otay Mesa Road ever since the crossing was created in 1987.

Alejandra Mier y Terán, director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, said the resulting congestion has made it difficult to do business on Otay Mesa Road, which is home to office buildings and industrial plants, many of which are tied to Maquiladoras in Tijuana.

“It's pretty embarrassing or disappointing that California's most important land port of entry does not have a freeway connection,” said Mier y Terán. Her disappointment should diminish in 2012, when the expansion of Highway 905 is expected to be done.

Highway 905 is a freeway that will eventually connect the Port of Otay with I-805 and the rest of the local freeway system. Today’s completion of a three-mile extension, which runs from the the Otay port to Britania Boulevard, means the job’s halfway done.

All this road work, that’s being funded with tens of millions of dollars in state and federal money, will eventually lead to the creation of a third national port of entry in San Diego County. Laurie Berman, the local district director for CATRANS, says a third port is sorely needed.

“There are just tremendously long wait times at the border,” she said. “And if you go down there you just see trucks sitting there, waiting to cross. And we think this is going to make a huge difference.”

The new border crossing, and the highway that'll connect it to the 905, are expected to be done in 2015. Berman said the new port will be built about three miles east of the existing Otay Mesa port of entry, and it will be used for commercial truck traffic.

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