New Exit at California's Otay Mesa Border Creates Confusion, Excitement on First Day
The first day of a new location for the last U.S. exit before the border in Otay Mesa at San Diego, California created mixed emotions from travelers on Thursday.
Reports said the new exit created confusion for some, but some travelers were also excited for a new port of entry in the region.
First Day of New Exit in California Border Brings Confusion Among Drivers
After crews worked through the night into early Thursday morning, the Siempre Viva Road off-ramp on state Route 905 is now located a half-mile east of its old spot.
According to Fox5 San Diego, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) moved the ramp to help pave the way for the new state Route 11 toll road and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, which is expected to open in 2024.
The recent development created a way for travelers who do not want to cross the border into Mexico to exit a half-mile earlier than before.
There's still a dedicated U-turn lane in the median if they wrongly pass the off-ramp and if they would approach the border crossing. However, some drivers told FOX 5 on Thursday that they thought the U-turn area was due for some extra use.
Adam Palafox, a driver who was passing through the area on his way to work, said the recent development definitely confused the travelers.
Palafox noted that Caltrans should put some flashing lights or something right before the new exit to give drivers a heads up that they could not get in over there anymore.
Palafox said he got a letter from the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce a day prior to the opening that it was the last day. That's why he remembered as he saw it coming.
Despite the efforts of the officials, Palafox said he still did see a lot of drivers going the wrong way, towards Mexico and they had to hit the last U-turn and come back out.
New Port of Entry in California Means Business for Locals
Confusion aside, local businesses are hoping that the coming port of entry would help more individuals cross from Tijuana into San Diego more quickly.
Earlier this summer, officials noted that more than $500 million had already been invested in the project. The total amount of budget to be spent for the facility on both sides of the border is about $1 billion.
The new port of entry is expected to be a "21st Century border crossing" with systems designed to reduce traffic congestion. It would also electronically collect tolls and offer other "state-of-the-art" features.
Javier Ramirez, the owner of the El Guero 2 restaurant nearby, said Thursday that the construction set to open in 2024 would be their future. He added that it's better for everybody, so for him, the project was good.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Jess Smith
WATCH: First Day For New Exit At The Border Brings Some Confusion, Excitement - From FOX 5 San Diego
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