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Comprehensive Transportation Projects

State Route 11 and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry

SANDAG and Caltrans, along with a number of key local, state, and federal agencies in the United States and Mexico, are executing an aggressive plan to self-finance a new border crossing in the San Diego/Baja California region. Annually, $54 billion worth of goods move across the region's borders, and at each crossing wait times regularly exceed two hours. To sustain vibrant and effective commercial cross border activities, this diverse group of partners is creating a new port of entry and connecting state highway.

The innovative new State Route 11 (SR 11) and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry (POE) project will improve the efficient movement of people and goods between the United States and Mexico. A state-of-the-art POE and commercial vehicle enforcement facility (CVEF) accessed via a toll road will provide shorter and more predictable crossing times.

This POE and four-lane state highway will connect the U.S.-Mexico border to key regional, state, and international highways, including SR 125, SR 905, and the Tijuana-Tecate and Tijuana-Ensenada free and toll roads.

Project Status

View the 2013 project update video.

Record of Decision Issued for Project

The SR 11/Otay Mesa East POE project reached an important milestone in September 2012 when the Record of Decision (ROD) was issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the project's Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR). The environmental studies for the SR 11/Otay Mesa East project have been conducted in two phases, and the Phase I EIS/EIR received its ROD in fall 2008. The issuance of the ROD for the Tier 2 EIS/EIR clears the way for the project to proceed to construction once other necessary studies are completed and project funding is secured.

The National Association of Environmental Professionals recently selected the SR 11 and the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry for a 2013 National Environmental Excellence Award for demonstrated excellence in the award category of NEPA Excellence.   
 
Segment 1 Moves Forward to Design

An important change to the SR 11/Otay Mesa East POE phasing was made in early 2012 in order to expedite project delivery. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved a plan to divide the project corridor into three distinct segments. The CTC also approved the of $80 million in Proposition 1B Trade Corridors Improvement Funds (TCIF) to Segment 1 of the project. The segments are:

  • Segment 1 will construct the SR 905/SR 11 freeway-to-freeway connectors up to Enrico Fermi Drive

  • Segment 2 will build the remaining portion of SR 11 (from Enrico Fermi to the POE) and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility

  • Segment 3 will construct the POE

    The design of Segment 1 is complete and the project is now moving forward to the construction phase. Caltrans is also moving forward with the acquisition of right-of-way needed for Segment 1. The award of the construction contract is anticipated in September of 2013.

    Project Study Updates

    Traffic and Revenue Study

    A traffic and revenue (T&R) study for the toll facility must be developed as part of the project. This study will provide an estimate of the revenue-generating capacity of the project, providing extensive data to the investment community detailing the financial feasibility of the project. An investment grade T&R model will provide insight into border crossers' behavioral responses to future travel options, as well as how much revenue can be expected from each new POE option.

    Over 1,500 surveys of passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and trucks have been completed as part of the T&R study. Surveys of border crossers have helped determine who will use the new crossing, how much they will be willing to pay in tolls, and their 'value of time' in terms of border crossing wait times.

    In addition, key representatives from 100 companies, including maquiladoras, transport companies, and agricultural product shippers, are being interviewed to gather their perspectives on issues involved in crossing the border and attitudes toward the proposed new POE. The survey and interview data will supplement the complex and sophisticated cross border model being created to predict traffic and revenue for the project. Results from the T&R are expected to be available in the fall 2013.

    Intelligent Transportation Systems Study

    The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Pre-Deployment Study will assess innovative operating concepts and technologies that could be deployed to help create this secure, state-of-the-art border crossing. A major focus of the ITS study is to help identify better time and travel experiences for passenger and commercial customers, thereby encouraging them to use the tolled border crossing by offering shorter and more predictable wait times. Areas for possible improvement include traveler notification of border wait times and pricing, as well as lane segmentation to streamline traffic. This phase of the study is expected to be complete in late 2013.

    Upon construction, ITS technology deployed for the project will collect and provide real-time information on border crossing choices, toll rates, and wait times on both sides of the border for the entire San Diego-Baja California region. The data collection will work seamlessly with an advanced traveler information system to provide accurate and valuable data to the customer. It is envisioned that ITS will enable six high-level systems functions along the region’s border, including:

    1. Data collection/analysis
    2. Toll revenue collection
    3. Traveler information display
    4. Traffic management/monitoring
    5. Vehicle safety inspections support
    6. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Aduanas (Mexican Customs) Operational Assistance

    View ITS Flow Diagram

    View ITS state-of-the-practice border technology scan

    Milestones Achieved

    June 2008: U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) completed a feasibility study of the proposed Otay Mesa East POE.

    December 2008: The Presidential Permit, which is required for any new land border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico or Canada, was issued by the U.S. Department of State

    July 2011: GSA, in partnership with Caltrans, completed a program development study for the Otay Mesa East POE.

    August 2008: The Program Environmental Impact Report/ Phase 1 Environmental Impact Statement (PEIR/PEIS) was completed and received approval.

    Fall 2008: Record of Decision (ROD) issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on the Program Environmental Impact Report/ Phase 1 Environmental Impact Statement (PEIR/PEIS) .

    Spring 2012: Tier 2 EIS/EIR (project specific phase of environmental/engineering studies), was completed. 

    Fall 2012: ROD for Tier 2 EIS/EIR was issued by the FHWA.  

    Final Phase I PEIR/PEIS

    Tier 2 EIS/EIR

    For More Information

    Contact Scott Strelecki at scott.strelecki@sandag.org for more information or to be added to our email notification list.

    Newsletter

    January 2013: English | En Español
    January 2012: English | En Español

    Project Managers

    Mario Orso, Caltrans Corridor Director
    Phone: (619) 688-2561, Email: Mario_Orso@dot.ca.gov

    Jacquelne Appleton-Deane, Caltrans Project Manager
    Phone: (619) 491-3080, Email: Jacqueline_Appleton-deane@dot.ca.gov

    Marney Cox, SANDAG Chief Economist
    Phone: (619) 699-1930, Email: marney.cox@sandag.org

    Christina Casgar, SANDAG Goods Movement Policy Manager
    Phone: (619) 699-1982, Email: christina.casgar@sandag.org