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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 working aggressively to expedite the construction of an innovative port of entry in the San Diego-Baja California region with the objective of dramatically reducing border wait times.

Insufficient capacity at existing border crossings in the region costs the United States and Mexico billions of dollars in foregone economic output each year. Hours-long delays are undermining productivity and industry competitiveness at the regional, state, and national levels.

The State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry (POE) project will provide fast, predictable, and secure crossings via tolled approach roads that connect directly to a new state-of-the-art POE serving both personal and commercial vehicles. The goal is to operate the new POE with an average 20-minute border wait time.

Efficiencies will be achieved through a host of innovations and technologies, including: 1) an integrated approach to providing advanced traveler information for the region’s major ports of entry; 2) a new border wait time detection system that feeds advanced traveler alert capabilities; 3) the use of electronic variable toll rates as a demand management strategy at Otay Mesa East; 4) and partnership approaches to designing and financing value-added amenities.

The SR 11/Otay Mesa East POE is a flagship border infrastructure project that will enhance binational prosperity. Mexico is California’s number one export market. In 2014, the Golden State exported $25.4 billion in goods to Mexico, accounting for 14 percent of all California exports. At the national level, Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner, after Canada and China, accounting for more than $534 billion in bilateral trade in 2014. More than seven percent of the total U.S.-Mexico trade value crosses at the Otay Mesa and Tecate ports of entry in the San Diego-Baja California region. And more than 90 percent of total trade between California and Mexico is transported by trucks, which seek greater reliability and predictability that the new POE will provide.

Binational, Multi-Agency Collaboration

In May 2013, President Barack Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the formation of the US-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) to promote economic growth in the United States and Mexico, create jobs for citizens on both sides of the border, and ensure that both nations can better compete globally. The SR 11/Otay Mesa East POE project is recognized as a priority project under the HLED. In the most recent round of HLED that occurred in February 2016, the two nations issued a joint statement calling the Otay Mesa East project a ''port of entry of the future and a new paradigm for binational planning.''

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in July 2014 between Mexico and California, a binational, multi-agency oversight committee has been formed to expedite the construction of the SR 11/Otay Mesa East roject. The committee held its first meeting in November 2014 and meets regularly to work on key project milestones.

Project Status

Under a plan approved in January 2012 by the California Transportation Commission, the project will be built in three segments:

Segment 1 (SR 11 first phase): construct a four-lane freeway between SR 905 and Enrico Fermi Drive. Construction began in December 2013 and the segment opened in 2016.

In October 2015, construction began on three freeway-to-freeway connectors linking SR 905 and SR 11 to northbound SR 125. They opened to traffic in late 2016. View the SR 905/SR 125/SR 11 Northbound Connectors fact sheet.

Segment 2 (SR 11 second phase): construct a four-lane toll highway from Enrico Fermi Drive to the new Otay Mesa East POE and construct a new Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility. This segment is still under design and construction dates haven’t been determined yet. The four lanes are fully funded for construction, but the SR 11/Siempre Viva interchange does not have construction funding identified yet.

Two southbound connectors linking SR 125 to eastbound SR 905 and eastbound SR 11 are currently under design. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2018 and be completed in 2020.  The connector linking SR 125 to westbound SR 905 will begin the design stage this year but does not have construction funding identified yet.

Segment 3: construct the new POE at Otay Mesa East. This segment is still under design. It is currently funded only through design and construction dates haven’t been determined yet.

Segment 1 is funded by $80 million in Proposition 1B Trade Corridors Improvement Funds (TCIF) allocated by the California Transportation Commission. The northbound connectors project is estimated to cost $21.5 million. Funding sources include: $15.9 million from TCIF; $2.9 million from the federal Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program (CBI); and $2.7 million from the regional TransNet half-cent sales tax for transportation approved by San Diego County voters.

View the 2013 project update video.

Traffic and Revenue Study

View study and appendices.

A binational, investment-grade traffic and revenue (T&R) study was completed in 2014. The study provides an estimate of the revenue-generating capacity of the project. As part of the T&R study, more than 1,500 passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and trucks were surveyed to determine who will use the new crossing and how much they will be willing to pay in tolls in order to save time. In addition, key representatives from 100 companies, including maquiladoras, transport companies, and agricultural product shippers, were interviewed to gather their perspectives on issues involved in crossing the border and attitudes toward the proposed new POE. The survey and interview data supplement the sophisticated crossborder model that’s been created to predict traffic and revenue for the project.

Intelligent Transportation Systems Study

The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Pre-Deployment Study is currently underway. The goal of the study is to assess innovative operating concepts and technologies to create a secure, state-of-the-art border crossing. A major objective of the ITS study is to identify ways to manage the approach roads to the regional border crossings as a system. Through traffic management centers in the United States and Mexico, actual border wait times will be posted; traffic conditions will be available through multiple platforms (such as roadway signs and the 511 traveler information system); and approach lanes to the new POE will be segmented to better organize traffic prior to security inspections. Once the ITS technology is deployed, it will collect and provide real-time information on border crossing choices for both personal and commercial vehicles, including variable toll rates at the Otay Mesa East POE and wait time patterns on both sides of the border for the entire San Diego-Baja California region. The technology also will collect tolls electronically. The data collection will work seamlessly with the region’s established ITS architecture to enable travelers to make educated choices on when and how to travel. It is envisioned that ITS will have six high-level system 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 Aduañas (Mexican Customs) Operational Assistance

View ITS Flow Diagram

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

Milestones Achieved

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

August 2008: Tier 1 environmental clearance secured for the freeway and location of the POE. The Program Environmental Impact Report/ Phase 1 Environmental Impact Statement (Final Phase I PEIR/PEIS) was completed and received approval. 

October 2008: SANDAG toll authority legislation (SB 1486) approved.

November 2008: Obtained Presidential Permit to create the new Otay Mesa East POE. 

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

January 2012: Secured approval from the California Transportation Commission to implement the project in three segments and secured $80 million to fund construction of the first segment.

September 2012: Tier 2 environmental clearance secured for location of the SR 11 interchanges. The Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Tier 2 EIS/EIR) was completed and approved.

December 2013: Construction began on the first segment of the project, which includes connectors to SR 905 and a stretch of the new SR 11 highway from SR 905 east to Enrico Fermi Drive.

July 2014: Memorandum of Understanding signed by California and Mexico to expedite construction of the project.

November 2014: Binational, investment-grade traffic and revenue study completed.

October 2015: Construction started on three freeway-to-freeway connectors linking SR 905 and SR 11 to northbound SR 125.

March 2016: Segment 1 of SR 11 opens to traffic.

July 2016: The U.S. Department of Transportation awards a $49.28 million competitive grant to complete Segment 2 of SR 11 in Otay Mesa along with two southbound connectors linking SR 905, SR 125, and SR 11.

November 2016: Northbound connectors linking SR 11, SR 905, and SR 125 open to traffic.

June 2017: The California Transportation Commission allocated $45 million from the State Transportation Improvement Program – Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program to fully fund the right-of-way acquisition for the SR 11 Otay Mesa East POE project.


January 2013 - English | En Español
January 2012 - English | En Español

News Releases

July 2016 - San Diego Region to be Awarded $49 Million to Complete Border Freeway and Connectors
April 2016 - $13B in border infrastructure invested
October 2015 - SR 905/SR 125/SR 11 connectors project breaks ground

For More Information

Contact Tedi Jackson at for more information or to be added to our email notification list.

Project Managers

Mario Orso, Caltrans Corridor Director
Phone: (619) 688-2561, Email:

Jacqueline Appleton-Deane, Caltrans Project Manager
Phone: (619) 491-3080, Email:

Christina Casgar, SANDAG Goods Movement Policy Manager
Phone: (619) 699-1982, Email: