Shutdown of Southbound Lanes Announced for the San Ysidro Port of Entry
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has announced that all southbound lanes from San Ysidro to Tijuana will be completely shut down for 57 hours beginning on early morning September 27, this as part of the ongoing San Ysidro Port of Entry expansion and modernization efforts.
“The purpose of the shutdown is to connect 10 Southbound lanes to El Chaparral (Mexico’s Port of Entry facility). There will be a series of unavoidable impacts we’ll have to get through to get to that point,” shared GSA’s Southern Border Program Office Director Ramon Riesgo.
Lanes will be completely shut down from Saturday, September 23 at 3 a.m until Monday, September 25 at noon, making Otay Mesa the only crossing available into Tijuana during that time.
The shutdown is part of the seven construction phases planned by GSA, and -according to the same agency – will impact over 50,000 commuters who cross every day in both directions. This will be the largest service interruption so far as part of the San Ysidro Port of Entry expansion and modernization project.
San Diego chambers of commerce and councils, among them the South County Economic Development Council, are bracing for the impacts this project will cause, since – after shutdown of all southbound lanes the weekend of September 23 – only 3 of the 6 currently available lanes will reopen. This 50 percent reduction in the number of lanes will remain in place until November 12, adding to the already long lines into Mexico every evening.
“The Council is concerned about the traffic impacts it could have on the 5, 805, and particularly the 905 freeway, since it will become the main thoroughfare to divert traffic to Otay Mesa. The impact will be huge,” said South County EDC Vice-Chair Efrain Ibarra.