Sacramento – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced a historic agreement that strengthens California’s partnership with Mexico and advances key border projects and initiatives. In Mexico City, state representatives and a delegation of regional leaders joined the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to sign the new Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement with Mexico which supports the construction of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry at the San Diego-Tijuana border. The new state-of-the-art border crossing facility will reduce wait times, curb greenhouse gas emissions, power economic growth and bolster binational trade along the busiest border region in the Western Hemisphere.
“Mexico is one of California’s most important international partners and we share a deep bond that stretches back generations,” said Governor Newsom. “Our state is a national leader when it comes to international cooperation and smart, clean infrastructure investments that are critical to the U.S. supply chain. At a time when states are using the border as a wedge issue to divide people, California and Mexico are showing how cross-border agreements can strengthen our communities while growing our economy and bringing a host of shared benefits.”
Congressmember Scott Peters, California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Assemblymembers David Alvarez and Chris Ward witnessed the signing of the Toll Revenue Sharing Agreement, which comes on the heels of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project receiving a $150 million INFRA grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the largest award nationally, which will go toward the construction of the new border crossing facility and related transportation infrastructure. The new port of entry is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024.
“This new agreement, which I signed as a witness today, will bring economic prosperity to our cross-border region,” said Lt. Governor Kounalakis. “The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is a vital link in our nation’s supply chain and in creating thousands of jobs. This historic revenue sharing agreement solidifies the joint commitment of California and the Government of Mexico to boosting trade and creating jobs.”
U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar noted the significance of the signing on “California Day” with a local reception to recognize Caltrans, SANDAG, and local partners who have built the necessary supporting transportation infrastructure and have planned and developed the Otay Mesa East priority project over the last several decades.
“California and Mexico share just 140 of the 2,000 miles of our border, but Cali-Baja punches far above its weight in terms of its contributions to our binational economy and family,” said Ambassador Salazar. “The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is proof of the dynamism and creativity of our relationship and a symbol of the 21st-century border we want to create.”
The State Route 11 Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project is a joint venture between SANDAG and Caltrans in collaboration with state and federal partners in the U.S. and Mexico to create a 21st-century border crossing for the San Diego-Baja California megaregion that will enhance regional mobility and fuel economic growth and binational trade.
The proposed border improvements will provide fast, predictable, and secure border crossings by constructing a four-lane, tolled road connecting directly to a state-of-the-art Customs and Border Protection Land Port of Entry and a California Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility.
Governor Newsom’s approach to border policy recognizes the vibrancy of the border region and that safe cross-border movement of people and goods are essential for California, regional economies and the many residents who cross the border daily for school, family and business. The administration prioritizes safety, strengthening our economic ties, as today’s agreement does, and supporting humanitarian efforts that protect the health and well-being of arriving migrants and our border communities. California recently invested $477 million to support the state’s model COVID-19 response and humanitarian efforts at the southern border.