The U.S. Department of Transportation has selected SANDAG to receive a $20.2 million grant to help fund a SR 905 to I-805 interchange, completing a freeway connection between the Otay Mesa Port of Entry (POE) and the rest of the highway system.
“Thanks go out to the Department of Transportation and to our federal representatives who appreciated the regional and national significance of our border crossings and worked to bring this money to the San Diego area,” SANDAG Chair and Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler said. “This project will improve safety and mobility, and it will also accomplish the goals of the stimulus – putting people to work right away, as well as boosting our economy by improving the flow of people and goods between the United States and our biggest trading partner, Mexico.”
The Department of Transportation released a statement on February 16 announcing 51 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants – which are part of the overall American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) economic stimulus program.
“This is a project with national and regional significance,” the announcement stated. “It is the largest freight border crossing from Mexico to California.”
Currently, Otay Mesa Road – a six-lane surface street – is the only access to the U.S.-Mexico POE at Otay Mesa, which is the region’s only commercial POE.
Construction already is underway on two separate projects that will bring SR 905 the 6.5 miles to I-805 at a cost of $432.8 million (including $74 million in ARRA funds). Those projects are expected to be complete in 2011 and 2012. This new $20.2 million TIGER grant will fully fund the next phase, improvements to the interchange. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2010.
Christina Casgar, Goods Movement Policy Manager