Border to Close this Weekend
September 21, 2017
By Ana Gomez Salcido
All southbound lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry will be closed starting Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3 a.m. and continuing through 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25. The closure is needed to get work done as part of the project to modernize and expand the port.
The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry is the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, currently processing an average of 70,000 northbound vehicles and 20,000 northbound pedestrians per day.
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) projects an 87 percent increase in vehicle traffic in San Ysidro by the year 2030.
To accommodate that growth and to better meet the changing needs of the tenant agencies and the traveling public, the U.S General Services Administration (GSA) is conducting a complete reconfiguration and expansion of the port. The scope includes the demolition and construction of an improved San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, including primary and secondary inspection areas, administration and pedestrian buildings, and all other support structures.
Once all three phases of the renovation project are complete, the new port will boast 62 northbound vehicle primary inspection booths, including one dedicated bus lane and inspection booth spread over 34 lanes. In addition, a portion of the Interstate 5 South freeway will be realigned and expanded from the current five lanes to ten lanes, which will connect to the Mexican inspection station, El Chaparral, as part of Phase 3.
According to GSA authorities, the planned work for this weekend represents a critical milestone for Phase 3 of the project as it begins the re-alignment and expansion of the southbound I-5 corridor.
Phase 3 also includes 10 new southbound I-5 vehicular inspection booths, a new southbound secondary inspection facility, and a new employee parking structure.
During the weekend’s closure, all southbound lanes of I-5 and I-805 will be closed to traffic south of the SR-905. Detours will be provided for destinations south of SR-905 (residences, business, etc.), however, vehicular access into Mexico through the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry will be closed. For vehicles wanting to enter Mexico during this time, a detour to the Otay Land Port of Entry will also be in place.
“We created a third vehicle lane entering Mexico through the Otay Land Port of Entry because of the closure at San Ysidro,” said Tijuana’s Customs Administrator, Enrique Orantes Gonzalez. “But we recommend that people don’t cross the border from San Diego to Tijuana if they don’t have to.”