Mexico, California Sign Agreement for New Border ProjectBy Rodrigo Brugada | Tue, 07/06/2021 - 18:38
US and Mexican authorities signed a memorandum of understanding to create new cross-border infrastructure projects and expand trade capacity.
The agreement, signed last week during a joint event, reinforces the mutual commitment to support important cross-border infrastructure projects that will expand trade capacity significantly along the busiest border region in the Western Hemisphere. The meeting was attended by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Communications and Transportation and the General Customs Administration on the Mexican side. On the US side, the California State Transportation Agency, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) attended the meeting. These agencies announced that the project aims to improve coordination and collaboration in infrastructure initiatives on the border between Mexico and the US.
Roberto Velasco Alvarez, head of the Mexican Foreign Ministry's North American Unit, informed that the signing of the memorandum of understanding between authorities from Mexico and California represents a shared willingness to cooperate, knowing that both regions are more prosperous when they work together. "In this way, we are taking a step toward the goal of building a modern and secure border that does not divide but rather unites our societies," he added.
California State Transportation Agency Secretary David Kim confirmed that the agreement solidifies the existing collaboration to create state-of-the-art border crossings. He reiterated that working with the Mexican government and regional partners will reinforce the commitment to transform the way people and goods move across the border. He also mentioned that the agreement would strengthen international trade and stimulate economic recovery.
One of the most significant projects that will be promoted binationally as a result of the agreement is the Otay II - Otay Mesa East project. This project seeks to serve as a new multimodal land border crossing that will improve security and mobility, boost the economy of both regions and promote the use of innovative technological solutions. The project will consist of the construction of a new mixed-use border crossing in the Tijuana-San Diego region, approximately 3.2 km east of the existing Mesa de Otay-Otay I border port.
The new port will feature technological innovations and connections to the road networks of both countries, which will allow for efficient measurement of vehicle movement. It will also make it possible to provide anticipatory information on waiting times at the region's border ports, as well as the toll rate at Otay II. The project includes the implementation of cutting-edge technology in intelligent transportation systems, providing the user with an agile and safe crossing that will allow binational trade and minimize the emission of polluting gases in the area. Likewise, the addition of the Otay Mesa East border crossing will have a significant and immediate impact, reducing waiting times during peak hours at existing border crossings by approximately 50 percent as of the day of its inauguration.
The project involves an investment of MX$2.8 million (US$139,830) to construct the 1.25-kilometer-long access road with four lanes in each direction. In addition, Caltrans District 11 and SANDAG are laying the groundwork for the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project. The new crossing is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, allowing for more efficient and streamlined transit.
California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis noted that this new port of entry will stimulate economic activity and improve the quality of life for millions of people who frequently cross one of the world's busiest borders.