A collapse of scaffolding placed around the old pedestrian bridge at the San Ysidro border crossing closed the crossing for more than 12 hours on September 14, the longest period of time in 30 years.
The collapse left 24 injured. The scaffolding surrounding the old bridge, which is in the process of being razed, apparently collapsed during the difficult procedure of disassembling the edifice piece-by-piece. The objective was to slowly dismantle the old structure so as to allow the traffic lanes to remain in use during the construction process.
Last week, construction crews had removed the portion of the old pedestrian bridge as it crossed over southbound (into Mexico) traffic, revealing for the first time in years a clear view of the Mexican customs inspection office (see photo).
The collapse over the northbound section allowing entry into the U.S. occurred at about 11 o’clock in the morning. According to a report on the Frontera website, the collapse went from traffic lane number 8 all the way over to the pedestrian crossing lane.
U.S. and Mexican authorities were quick to respond with firemen, paramedics, and some 20 TJ municipal police. Eleven people with injuries were sent to U.S. hospitals.
After the border crossing was shut down, Mexicans were advised to avoid crossing into the U.S., and if travel was imperative, they had to use the Otay Mesa border crossing; when that crossing became congested, Tecate was recommended (not the beer, the border crossing).
Pedestrian traffic, numbering in the thousands, was also halted for the duration of the closure.