A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Friday, Oct. 19, 2012

One lane from Interstate 5 to new El Chaparral port of entry to open Wednesday, Oct. 24; all five lanes to open Nov. 1

       One lane will open on the newly built connection from Interstate 5 to the new El Chaparral port of entry Wednesday, Oct. 24, as part of a test to see how traffic flows, Frontera newspaper reported. All five lanes are scheduled to open Nov. 1.

       The new port of entry, which will have 22 gates and is located next to the Tijuana River, is several hundred meters to the west of the current Puerta México crossing.

       Mexico decided to build its new port of entry even though the United States did not plan to permanently re-route Interstate 5 to El Chaparral until 2016. As a result, Mexico had to build what is billed as a temporary connecting road south of the border fence.

     To build the connector, the long-used pedestrian crossing to the west of I-5 had to be eliminated and the United States had to build a relatively sharp curve to connect I-5 to the new road. Fortunately for Mexico's plans, the United States recently completed a new pedestrian crossing to the east of I-5. Originally intended to be an auxiliary crossing, it now is the only pedestrian crossing. A second pedestrian crossing is currently scheduled to be built in 2015 to connect with El Chaparral, which is southeast of La Americas Premium Outlets. 

     The U.S. is still planning to build a permanent connection to El Chaparral in 2016. Currently, six lanes of I-5 flow into Puerta México. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Other stories:
Sculptor Sebastián says he will build "Gateway of the Americas" monument at border crossing.

September: New pedestrian crossing opens to east of I-5.
                 Old western pedestrian crossing closes at San Ysidro.
                 GSA official predicts one minute vehicular crossing times at El Chaparral, discusses new eastern pedestrian crossing.
                 Governor says as many gates will be opened as necessary to keep southbound border traffic flowing.
                  New connecting lanes to be 10 feet wide.
August: Deportees now being crossed at Otay Mesa port of entry.
July: Tax Administration Service spokesman says El Chaparral to be ready for business in October.
June: Foreign Ministry official tells U-T San Diego that Puerta México will close when El Chaparral opens.
May: GSA presentation to San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.
May: GSA presentation to Sandag.
May: Baja California governor, federal transportation minister say Puerta México will not close in October when new El Chaparral port of entry opens
April: San Ysidro Smart Border Coalition seeks new pedestrian crossing, roundabout at Virginia Avenue.
April: Story on new eastern pedestrian crossing.
March: Analysis of the problems the new border crossing may pose.