Infrastructure permitting, the processing goals CBP has set for travelers are: SENTRI/NEXUS Lanes: 15 minutes, Ready Lanes: 50% of general traffic lane wait times
Infrastructure permitting, the processing goals CBP has set for travelers are: SENTRI/NEXUS Lanes: 15 minutes, Ready Lanes: 50% of general traffic lane wait times
0 - 30 minutes |
31 - 60 minutes |
over 60 minutes
Otay Mesa Port of Entry
Border crossing between Mexico and the U.S.
The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is one of three ports of entry (POE) in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region, in the U.S. state of California, connecting Otay Mesa in the City of San Diego with the Otay Centenario borough of Tijuana. The facility was opened in 1983, and was constructed primarily to divert growing commercial truck traffic from the busy San Ysidro Port of Entry. Since then, significant passenger vehicle and pedestrian traffic has grown as development in the area around the crossing has grown. Commercial importations through Otay Mesa accounts for billions of dollars' worth of freight.
The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is accessed by California State Route 905 on the northern side. Since commercial traffic cannot use the San Ysidro Port of Entry, for commercial traffic Otay Mesa is the southern terminus of the Interstate 5 corridor.
The port of entry is the third-busiest commercial port of entry on the Mexico–United States border. To reduce wait times a facility built by the Mexican federal government, staffed by United States Customs and Border Protection officers and Mexican customs officers, will be opened on the Mexican side of the border. It will be used to screen produce, which are considered low-risk commodities. A similar facility will be located at the Laredo International Airport, where Mexican customs officers will pre-inspect air shipments into Mexico.
Heads up, drivers: Last exit before border crossing is moving
LATEST: Day 1 for the new location brought some confusion, excitement Thursday.
SAN DIEGO — Drivers who frequently cross the U.S.-Mexico border in Otay Mesa, or who often drive through that area, should be aware of a change to the freeway that’s helping pave the way for a new port of entry.
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The Siempre Viva Road off-ramp — the last U.S. exit on state Route 905 — will be relocated east of its current location Thursday. That means travelers who don’t want to cross the border to Mexico will exit a half-mile earlier than before. Drivers will still have access to a dedicated U-turn in the median if they mistakenly pass the off-ramp and are approaching the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
Caltrans and SANDAG crews fully closed eastbound SR-905 between La Media Road and Siempre Viva Road from Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. to Thursday, Oct. 7 at 4 a.m. to complete the change. During that closure, drivers were detoured via the La Media Road off-ramp, Caltrans said.
The agency says relocating the off-ramp is a key step in the project adding a third port of entry in the San Diego area by 2024. The new crossing option — consisting of a new toll road, State Route 11, and the new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry — are aimed at reducing wait times throughout the region and providing more options for the roughly 100,000 people who cross in and out of the U.S. and Tijuana daily for work, school, doctors visits, shopping and more.
You can read more about the project on the Transnet website.
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California, Mexico sign agreement to open new Otay Mesa border crossing by late 2024
The governments of California and Mexico signed an agreement Monday committing to work together to deliver on time a new border crossing at Otay Mesa by late 2024.
Unlike other ports of entry, such as San Ysidro and the one operating in Otay Mesa, this new gate would require a toll fee that would offer an average wait time goal of 20 minutes to cross the border.
Currently, passenger vehicles and commercial trucks crossing the border between Tijuana and San Diego can endure tedious waits, harming business and the environmental, officials said.
“This new port of entry will not only spur economic activity, but it will also improve the quality of life for the millions of Californians and Mexicans who frequently cross one of the busiest borders in the world,” said California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.
“A great example of California’s leadership in combatting climate change. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility in the region.”
Otay Mesa East, also known as the Otay II project, will help reduce wait times at existing border crossings and is projected to provide an economic boost of $1.8 billion annually, officials said.
With the signing of the memorandum of understanding, both countries commit to meet their respective construction projects, quickly resolve policy issues and establish a framework to share toll revenues for project funding.
“We know what it takes to get it done. We have certain milestones to meet, and now we have this document that memorializes our commitment to the project,” said California Secretary of Transportation David S. Kim after the signing ceremony Monday at the construction site in Otay Mesa.
On the California side, the $1 billion project has already secured $565 million in local, state and federal funding. The remainder is expected to be financed mostly through toll revenue.
On the Mexican side, a first phase investment of more than $186 million is contemplated for construction work and access roads, according to Roberto Velasco, director of North America with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last year, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador included the Otay II project within an infrastructure plan that seeks to reactivate the economy.
Velasco emphasized that this project is a symbol of the strong binational relationship. “We believe in building bridges not in building walls, and this is important for us in that sense,” he said.
“This is the future of the U.S.-Mexico relationship that we want. A future where we are more connected, and we allow for the many different possibilities that life in the border offers to both of our countries”.
Initially, Otay Mesa East will have five lanes for vehicles and five more for commercial trucks, with the option for these to be interchangeable depending on the time and demand, explained María Rodríguez-Molina, project manager with SANDAG.
Toll fees will not be collected at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection point, but “either through electronic pay” or in toll booths that will be placed within the U.S. on the State Route 11.
Toll collection will be for both northbound and southbound traffic. The revenue will be divided between the U.S. and Mexico, added Mario Orso, project director with Caltrans.
On the U.S. side, the project started eight years ago with the construction of the SR-11. Construction of the new port is now under way on a 100-acre area a few miles east of the current Otay Mesa border crossing.
In Tijuana, construction is expected to begin next year to meet the timeframe both countries established.
Mesa border otay
Otay Mesa, San Diego
This article is about the neighborhood in San Diego. For the borough of Tijuana, see Mesa de Otay. For the border crossing, see Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
Community of San Diego in California
Otay Mesa (OH-ty MAY-sə) is a community in the southern section of the city of San Diego, just north of the U.S.–Mexico border.
It is bordered by the Otay River Valley and the city of Chula Vista on the north; Interstate 805 and the neighborhoods of Ocean View Hills and San Ysidro on the west; unincorporated San Diego County on the north and east including East Otay Mesa and the San Ysidro Mountains; and the Otay Centenario borough of Tijuana, Mexico on the south.
Major thoroughfares include Otay Mesa Road/California State Route 905, Otay Valley Road/Heritage Road, Siempre Viva Road, and California State Route 125. Otay Mesa is the second-least walkable neighborhood of San Diego.
Otay is derived from the Kumeyaay language. Although its meaning is disputed, possible derivations include "otai", meaning "brushy"; "Tou-ti" meaning "big mountain"; or "etaay" meaning "big".Mesa is the Spanish word for plateau, table or tableland.
Aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery made the first controlled flights in the western hemisphere using a series of gliders from the west rim of Otay Mesa in 1883/1884.
The area which now includes Otay Mesa was annexed from San Diego County along with other portions of South San Diego in 1957. Additional annexation of almost four thousand acres was approved in 1985.
Since 2010, seven cross-border tunnels have been found linking Warehouses in Otay Mesa with entry points within Mexico.
The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is one of two border crossings within the city of San Diego, the other being the San Ysidro Port of Entry six miles to the west. Trucks are generally instructed to use the border crossing in Otay Mesa instead of the San Ysidro one. Otay Mesa also houses an immigration detention center.
Two miles east of the Otay Mesa border crossing in the unincorporated area of East Otay Mesa, the new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is planned to be in service as early as 2023.
The Cross Border Xpress (CBX) is a terminal serving and a pedestrian bridge crossing to the main terminal of Tijuana International Airport. This crossing has a 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) facility in Otay Mesa. It was established by Otay-Tijuana Ventures LLC and had a cost of $78 million and opened in 2015. CBX makes Tijuana Airport the world's first geographically binational airport, because unlike the binational airports serving the Swiss cities of Basel (entirely on French territory) and Geneva (entirely on Swiss territory), the CBX terminal is physically located in the United States but serves an airport whose main terminal and runways are in Mexico.
SR 11 (Future)
SR 125 (Future Connection to SR 905; Currently ends at Otay Mesa Rd.)
SR 905 (Future I-905)
Other landmarks and facilities
Located 1.5 miles north of the Mexico-United States Border, is the 603 megawatt Otay Mesa Energy Center, which came online in 2009. This power plant will be joined with the Pio Pico Energy Centerpeaker, which will generate an additional 300 megawatts.
Pacific Gateway Park is located between Otay Mesa Road and the international border.
Five major law-enforcement facilities are located in an unincorporated area in the Otay Mesa region:
Public schools in and near Otay Mesa include:
- Finney Elementary School
- Juarez Lincon Elementary School
- Los Altos Elementary School
- Howard Pence Elementary School
- Silverwing Elementary School
- San Ysidro Elementary School
- Montgomery Middle School
- Montgomery High School
- San Ysidro High School
- ^"Otay Mesa neighborhood in San Diego". Walk Score.
- ^ abFetzer, Leland (10 July 2018). "San Diego County Place Names, A to Z". Sunbelt Publications, Inc. – via Google Books.
- ^Gudde, Erwin. California Place Names, 4th ed. University of California Press, 1998. https://books.google.com/books?id=Kqwt5RlMVBoC&pg=PA273&dq=otay+otai&hl=en&ei=z19xTZGhEY-osAPLx-XQCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=otay%20otai&f=false p.273
- ^Stein, Lou, San Diego County Place-Names, pages 88-89, Rand Editions-Tofua Press, 1975
- ^Harwood, Craig S. and Fogel, Gary B. Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West, University of Oklahoma Press, 2012
- ^"Otay Mesa Nestor". Development Services Department, Planning Division. City of San Diego. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- ^Michael A. Fairley (27 February 1985). "Annexation of Otay Mesa Land Approved". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- ^Whitcomb, Dan (4 April 2014). "Two drug tunnels, with rail systems, found at U.S.-Mexico border". Reuters. Los Angeles. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- ^Elliot Spagat (26 May 2010). "Health official tours San Diego immigration jail". San Diego Union Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- ^Garrick, David (2019-09-23). "Building boom is transforming Otay Mesa into an economic engine". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
- ^Dibble, Sandra (2015-12-09). "New Tijuana airport bridge opens". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
- ^Dibble, Sandra (2012-11-28). "Tijuana's airport preparing for cross-border bridge". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-01-18. "The company operating the A.L. Rodríguez International Airport is a key player in a plan for a privately owned terminal in Otay Mesa that would allow ticketed, toll-paying airline passengers to cross between San Diego and Tijuana."
- ^Dibble, Sandra (2010-08-04). "Cross-border bridge gets federal permit". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
- ^Dwyer, Colin; Wagner, Laura (December 9, 2015). "Above The Border, New Walkway Spans The Gap Between U.S. And Mexico". National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- ^"Map of Geneva Airport in relation to the Geneva area, Geneva Airport website"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
- ^"Otay Mesa Power Plant Licensing Case". California Energy Commission. State of California. 3 October 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- ^City News Service (12 September 2012). "California Energy Commission Approves 300-Megawatt Natural Gas Power Plant". KPBS. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- ^"The Center for Land Use Interpretation". clui.org.
Dignitaries from California and Mexico signed a memorandum of understanding Monday to open a new port of entry at the U.S-Mexico border in Otay Mesa by late 2024.
Officials say the State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project will help facilitate and bolster trade between the two countries by adding a third port of entry in the San Diego region, as well as cut down on motorist wait times at the border, thus improving air quality by reducing emissions from vehicles that are often idling bumper-to-bumper at border crossings.
Described as a “21st Century border crossing,” the project is slated to feature a number of technological systems to monitor wait times and reduce traffic congestion, including electronically collected tolls, a traveler information system that will inform drivers on toll rates and wait times, and interchangeable primary inspection lanes that differ between peak passenger and commercial vehicle travel times.
More than $500 million has been invested into the project to date, with a total of around $1 billion estimated for the facility on both sides of the border.
California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis said the new port of entry’s improvements “will help drive economic activity on both sides of the border,” while Roberto Velasco Alvarez, Mexico’s general director for North America, Ministry of Foreign Relations, called wait times at the border “the main barrier to trade” between the U.S. and Mexico.
Peak wait times at existing ports of entry will be reduced by roughly 50% when the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry opens, according to David Kim, secretary for the California State Transportation Agency.
Average pre-pandemic wait times were at one to two hours for commercial vehicles, and 1.5 to two hours for passenger vehicles, Kim said.
The goal of the new port of entry is to reduce average wait times down to “no more than 20 minutes,” SANDAG chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said.
The memorandum of understanding reached between the two countries and signed during a Monday press conference laid the groundwork regarding project milestones, toll locations on the U.S. side and toll revenue sharing policies that will help finance the project.
“Adding a brand new port of entry will have a huge impact in terms of keeping this important trade and economic relationship going and moving forward,” Kim said.
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Otay Mesa regular car border directions
If you’re looking to beat the traffic of Tijuana and the crowds of San Ysidro, we recommend taking the Otay Mesa border crossing. The easiest way to do this if you’re coming from south of Rosarito is to take the Boulevard 2000. We put together step-by-step directions from the free road or toll road where the Blvd 2000 begins to the Otay Mesa border crossing. We also have a PDFof the Otay Mesa border directions that you can download to print and take with you!
*Please note that while we try to ensure our directions are as current and accurate as possible, construction, road closures, border changes, and other unforeseen circumstances may cause differences in the information presented in these directions and the actual border situation.*
1. The beginning of the Blvd 2000 is located at Popotla just south of Baja Studios GPS: 32.285045, -117.031409. You can access it from the free road (km 33) or from the northbound toll road.
2. Turn onto the Blvd. 2000 and head east for 25 miles.
3. After about 25 miles, you’ll see a turn off to the right for “TIJUANA/SAN DIEGO.” Take this exit to the right.
4. Drive with precaution around the hairpin turn. This will take you onto Mex 2. Continue for 4 miles on Mex 2.
5. You’ll see a large overhead sign directing traffic. Continue straight on this road and follow signs for “GARITA DE OTAY”
6. In a few blocks you’ll see signs for “GARITA DE OTAY” to the right. Follow the signs and turn right on Blvd de los Aztecas Sur. This will take you directly to the border.
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