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Otay Border Traffic Feasibility Test this Sun. 7/27


Press Office

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

News Release  

July 24, 2008

Contact Vincent Bond

619 744-5224  

Otay Mesa Port to Conduct Traffic Feasibility Test on Sunday 

            OTAY MESA -- The Otay Mesa commercial cargo port of entry will open four temporary passenger car processing lanes for three hours on Sunday afternoon, July 27, to test the feasibility of using the truck facility for vehicular traffic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced today.

            U.S. and Mexican agencies will team up to route northbound passenger cars through the Mexican export lot into the CBP facility from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during a typically busy weekend period when waits at the adjacent 13-lane Otay Mesa passenger processing facility can extend over 90 minutes.  

            The test will begin once commercial cargo processing at the facilities ceases at about 4 p.m.  The cargo lots on both sides of the border normally process commercial shipments of merchandise from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  

            Port officials plan to gather usage data to determine whether the cargo facilities can be employed efficiently and securely in the future to temporarily extend the number of available passenger car traffic lanes leading into the U.S.

            “We hope to process at least 600 or more cars during this test to provide more realistic data for evaluation,” said Gurdit Dhillon, CBP director of field operations in San Diego . “If the test is successful, we may utilize the cargo facility on Sundays and holidays in the future to minimize traffic wait times. CBP is sensitive to this issue and we are hoping to employ strategies such as this to reduce the impact on travelers.”

            Mexican police officials will be positioned in the northbound lanes and will begin routing waiting northbound traffic onto a cargo truck lane in Mexico that leads to the Mexican customs export lot. From there, the traffic will make its way north into the U.S. cargo import lot where four temporary primary processing lanes will be established to process vehicular traffic similar to that being accomplished in the passenger facility.

            The temporary station will be able to issue I-94 permits for Mexican travelers and will include efforts by agricultural specialists to inspect any plants or food products if needed.

            A similar test was conducted for a few hours on Sunday, May 18, but only 300 cars were processed by CBP officers due to a lack of awareness on the part of the traveling public.

            For this test, CBP has reached out to law enforcement and community organizations in Tijuana , the news media and the American consulate in Tijuana to improve awareness of the new lanes this Sunday.

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:07 AM by Herb Kinsey


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