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FHWA 02-09Contact: Nancy Singer
Thursday, January 15, 2009Tel.: (202) 366-0660

U.S. Department of Transportation Signs Agreement with California to Relieve Freight Congestion with the New Otay Mesa East Port of Entry

WASHINGTON - A new border crossing in San Diego, California that will reduce wait times between the United States and Mexico is one step closer to reality thanks to an agreement signed today with the California Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced today.

"This new crossing will afford the people and businesses of southern California additional capacity that is critical for safe and efficient cross-border travel," Secretary Peters said.

To provide more capacity for traffic throughout the region, the San Diego project will consist of a new Otay Mesa East port of entry, located two miles east of the existing Otay Mesa entry point, and a new 2.7-mile, four-lane highway, State Route 11, linking the port of entry to the existing California highway system.

The Otay Mesa East port of entry will provide for efficient movement of people, goods and services between the United States and one of the nation's top trading partners, Mexico. This project will reduce traffic congestion and frequent wait times that are sometimes more than four hours for commercial truckers coming into southern California. It will also provide a seamless connection from SR-11 to the Tijuana Rosarito Corridor and the Tijuana-Tecate and Tijuana-Ensenada toll roads in Baja California, Mexico.

The project is part of the Department's Transportation Border Congestion Relief Program which is designed to facilitate and accelerate transportation-related capacity and operational improvements at border crossings. California's Otay Mesa East is one of the three projects included in the federal initiative.

Secretary Peters also added that as part of the congestion relief program, the project would receive priority access, consistent with current law, to many of the Department's assistance programs, including loans and other innovative financing mechanisms.

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