Construction Scaffolding Collapse at San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Closes North Bound Border Crossing
Investigation ongoing to determine the cause
The U. S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at about 10:45 a.m. (PDT) wood scaffolding that was being used for construction collapsed at the San Ysidro port of entry. The collapse occurred at the North bound lanes 1 through 8 linking to the pedestrian processing building on the U.S. side. Lanes 12 to 24 have not been directly affected by the collapse.
CBP officers were processing vehicle traffic in those lanes at the time of collapse. Fifteen vehicles that were located under the collapsed area sustained damage. Alternate means of transportation have been provided for the passengers in the vehicles affected.
GSA, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, San Diego Fire and Rescue and others trained in rescue efforts responded to the port of entry to assist travelers and staff.
Seventeen people were injured, including travelers and construction workers, with 14 being treated on site for minor injuries and released. Of the 17, 3 people were transported to local hospitals for further assessment. Initial reports indicate there are no life-threatening injuries.
All northbound lanes are currently closed at this time and traffic is being re-routed to the Otay Mesa port of entry located a few 5 miles east. As a precaution, CBP is not processing any northbound pedestrians or vehicles through the San Ysidro port of entry at this time. While we do not have an estimate of when the border crossing will be re-opened, GSA and its contractor, Hensel Phelps, are in the process of assessing the structural integrity of the remaining scaffold, and determining the time frame of when we can resume operation for northbound traffic. GSA’s highest priority is the protection and safety of the traveling public, CBP employees and workers at the site.
The southbound freeway crossing into Mexico at Interstate 5 and 805 is still open.
The structural integrity of the pedestrian processing building was not compromised, only that of the temporary scaffolding that was in place to facility work in that portion of the construction project.
Investigations into the cause of the scaffolding collapse are ongoing. We will provide more updates as information becomes available.
San Ysidro is the busiest land port of entry in the world, with over 50 million travelers annually and is projected to process 85 million travelers by year 2030.
GSA is embarking on a three-phase construction project to improve traffic flow, safety and security at the port, and will realign Interstate Highway 5 to new Mexican inspection facilities to the west at El Chaparral.