By Adina Moloman
Sources: San Diego Business Journal, Airport Technology Market, UT San Diego
After many years of lobby activity of private investors to obtain the construction permits for the Otay Mesa cross border-bridge, the project has received almost all multiple government permits on both sides of the border for the construction.
The project consists of 525-foot long pedestrian bridge leading from the Tijuana airport terminal to a 65,000-square foot structure on the U.S. side (two-story building and car parking structure at the Otay Mesa terminal in San Diego). This involves also the presence of an inspection area staffed seven days a week by CBP officers and also and Mexican immigration offices.
The main purpose of this project is the reduction of the delays in cross-border commuting at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry utilized for daily commute for tourism but also personnel overseeing their operations manufacturing in Mexico under the maquiladora regime (IMMEX). This facility will be available exclusively to ticketed airline passengers who pay a toll (not determined yet); the wait to cross the border is expected to be minimal.
GAP (Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico) is one of the investors from the Mexican side that is investing 180 million pesos, around $14 million at current exchange rates — to expand the Tijuana airport and build a small section of the bridge. The main investors are U.S.-based investors, known as Otay-Tijuana Ventures LLC, estimates to spend around $78 million. They also will build the Customs inspection facility and pay for staffing.
Construction started in September last year and is expected to be finish by the end of this year and operating a few months after its completion. The project faced opposition from that visualizing the real benefits.
According to representatives of the joint venture the U.S. construction will take about 15 months to complete.