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After 10 Years And $741 Million, Rebuilt San Ysidro Port Of Entry Is Complete

The southbound inspection lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on October 25...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: The southbound inspection lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on October 25, 2019.

Ten years and $741 million later, officials from both sides of the border celebrated the rebuilding of the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Tuesday.

The improvements include 62 northbound inspection lanes and a highway realignment that dramatically expands the number of cars that can head south, which could spare San Ysidro from punishing backups. The project included a new transit center and the rehabilitation of the historic custom house.

On Tuesday, officials from San Diego and Tijuana marked the finished project. It was built while 70,000 vehicles and 20,00 people continued to cross the border every day.

Newly-installed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau spoke about the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, now exemplified by the new border facility.

RELATED: Politicians Tour San Ysidro Port Of Entry, Praise Operations

Reported by Max Rivlin-Nadler , Video by Mike Damron

"These 100,000 crossings every day are more than a statistic. They represent the personal stories of Mexicans and Americans tied to both countries, through business, culture and family. They share their hope and dreams and hard work to build a better future," Landau said.

After the ceremony, Congressman Juan Vargas told KPBS that while a new crossing will bring the two countries even closer, he looks forward to a day where these facilities will become obsolete.

"The truth of the matter is I dream of a time when we don't need these borders at all, when people can just cross because there won't be any drug usage, and there won't be any poverty, so people won't have to leave," Vargas said. "Instead, they'll just come to vacation, they'll come to have a good time, and spend money, and we'll do the same in Mexico. I look forward to that day."

The U.S. also issued a travel advisory Tuesday for travelers to many parts of Mexico, due to increased risks of crime and kidnapping. A travel advisory was not issued for Baja California.

The San Diego Association of Governments projects that vehicle traffic at the border will increase 87% by the year 2030.

Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen.

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Photo of Max Rivlin-Nadler

Max Rivlin-Nadler
Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover the border, which includes everything from immigration to border politics to criminal justice issues. I'm interested in how the border impacts our daily lives and those of our neighbors, especially in ways that aren't immediately clear to us.

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