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Construction Begins On Cross-Border Airport Terminal

Aired 9/9/13 on KPBS News.

The terminal will provide direct access to Tijuana's airport from the San Diego side of the border.

Construction is beginning on the cross-border terminal that will give travelers easier access to the Tijuana airport from the San Diego side.

ciber tizoc / flickr.com

Construction is beginning on the cross-border terminal that will give travelers easier access to the Tijuana airport from the San Diego side.

U-T San Diego reports that crews began sealing off the construction site at the airport this week. The project's developers say the cross-border terminal should be operational by the end of next year.

The Tijuana airport sits right on the border, and the new project will include a pedestrian bridge that connects the airport to a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station just over the border fence in Otay Mesa. Because it will be available exclusively to ticketed airline passengers who pay a toll, the wait to cross the border is expected to be minimal.

The terminal has been in the works for years. It's been promoted by supporters as a way to boost bi-national ties and economic development.

But it's also faced opposition from some in Tijuana, including Mayor Carlos Bustamante, who said the benefits to his city are unclear.

The project's main goal is to shuttle people between the airport and San Diego. Taxi drivers have also opposed the project, fearing they'll lose much of their business driving travelers between the airport and existing border crossings.

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