SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The U.S. General Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection cut the ribbon on the expanded commercial side of Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
The facility now counts on 16 traffic lanes instead of nine and is supposed to have “improved traffic circulation” for thousands of trucks that cross the border through this port of entry on a daily basis.
In 2021, 108,000 rigs entered the U.S. at this facility carrying televisions, trucks and other items totaling $37 billion worth of products for the year.
The new lanes are expected to expedite crossing times for truckers improving the flow of goods between Mexico and the U.S.
“GSA embraces our agency partnerships which are enabling the accomplishment of multiple missions while having a positive economic impact on the greater San Diego community,” said GSA’s Public Buildings Service Commissioner Nina Albert. “The role of PBS in the building industry puts us in a unique position to have a lasting, positive impact. Otay Mesa is a great example where we see traffic having an impact on the economy and community. Here, we’ve aligned sustainability features of design and construction plans with the culture of the community and its needs without compromising operational mission objectives.”
Dignitaries from both sides of the border attended the dedication ceremony of this $134 million project.
“The Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry is an important part of our regional economy,” said U.S. Rep Juan Vargas, D-Califonia. “Otay Mesa is one of the busiest commercial ports of entry, and these improvements will invest in more efficient flows of commerce and boost commercial processing. Expanding and modernizing this port of entry will benefit the economy on both sides of the border, and I’m proud to have supported this vital project from its inception to completion.”
Others said the expanded commercial crossing is coming along at a perfect time.
“Otay Mesa is an economic engine fueling the Cali-Baja region, and fueling our two states and, frankly, fueling our two nations,” said Alejandra Mier y Teran, executive director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce. “We have more import and export food-related products crossing through our border and e-commerce is booming in this region so what better timing to add commercial truck lanes than now.”
Mier y Teran said the added commercial traffic in recent months has already added 5,000 jobs in the immediate region with more on the way.
“These industries are fueling more workers and more jobs,” she said.
Others agreed with Mier y Teran.
“Improvements to the commercial area will directly benefit our economy and our bilateral trade,” said Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico’s Consul General in San Diego.
The project also includes a new parking structure for CBP employees and new office facilities.