Mexico begins work on expanded border crossing

By Sandra Dibble, UNION-TRIBUNE

TIJUANA — A major expansion of the San Ysidro Port of Entry entails a counterpart project south of the border, and work has already begun to accommodate the future southbound flow of cars from San Diego into Tijuana.

Mexico’s investment in the expansion project—about 700 million pesos, or $54 million—includes work on three bridges over the Tijuana River that will serve to channel southbound traffic into Mexico. Authorities expect to complete two of those bridges by the end of the year, said Mario Diaz, director of strategic projects for the Baja California government. By 2013, Mexico will be ready on its end to receive vehicles at a new southbound crossing located at El Chaparral, west of the current lanes.

Mexico next month expects to open three additional lanes at the existing crossing, increasing the number of lanes from six to nine. But the new Chaparral crossing will have 19 southbound lanes, more than double that number.

The new crossing is being built on Mexican federal property that now is largely vacant, and will not involve relocation of any residents in the adjacent neighborhood, known as Colonia Federal, Diaz said.

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