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What's the deal with the long vehicle lines to cross from California into Tijuana? The fix could take a while

Alexandra Mendoza, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

The project is expected to be completed later this year, before López Obrador’s term ends in October, Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila said last month.

In addition, six of the 20 lanes at the El Chaparral border crossing are temporarily closed due to construction work to install vehicle screening technology.

Recently, the upgraded lanes — located on the far right side — were briefly seen in operation, but Mexican officials said that it was part of a test and that there’s still no reopening date.

To ease congestion, there has been a proposal to reopen at least three lanes of what was the old Puerta Mexico, which for years was the border crossing for vehicles from San Ysidro to Tijuana.

Baja California Secretary of Economy Kurt Honold said the city has already given the green light and that Mexican Customs officials are working on a plan.

“What we are looking for is to make the crossing more streamlined instead of sometimes, two or three hours,” he said Thursday to local media.


A possible date has not been determined.

Joaquín Luken, executive director of the Smart Border Coalition said that there’s still work to be done.

All construction projects and other proposals such as Puerta Mexico, must be completed in order to notice a change, he said. “Any one of (these projects) alone is not the solution, but all of them together are.”

Last year, Mexican officials estimated that around 50,000 vehicles per day cross from San Ysidro to Tijuana through the El Chaparral crossing. Peak hours are considered weekdays between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., Luken said.


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