Mexico and the United States appear to be in a race to see who can erect their new respective border ports first. Both sides have been constructing at a feverish pace.
The U.S. border station at San Ysidro has been under construction for more than a year, complicated by the fact that the old station needed to remain functioning while the new one was being built on the same site.
Mexico is building their new border entry station at a new site, butted up against the levee of the Tijuana River and some distance (approximately a quarter mile) west of the current site, which is adjacent to the U.S. border entry station and fed by traffic coming in from I-5.
The U.S., having completed a new pedestrian bridge spanning I-5, has been working on a new secondary inspection facility, resembling an elongated railroad barn, where vehicles are brought in for a thorough inspection. Construction has been ongoing for about eight months.
Construction of Mexico’s facility (on a former storage lot for imported vehicles) started some 45 days ago and is going up rapidly alongside the river. Steel support beams and concrete pillars are the most recent additions to the main building up against the eastern wall of the canal. Both countries expect to finish their projects around the end of October.
One fly remains in the ointment: how will Mexico-bound traffic be led from the U.S. into the new Mexican border crossing station? It appears that no U.S. public monies have been made available for the construction of access roads leading from I-5 to the entrance of the new Mexican border station.
An article in Tijuana’s daily Frontera offers speculation that private monies may be used for the construction of access roads on the U.S. side. Reportedly, the controversy has become somewhat of a touchy diplomatic issue.
Meanwhile, Mexican federal deputy Francisco Vega de La Madrid has assured Mexican nationals and tourists entering Mexico that the old border station will continue functioning until the kerfuffle regarding access roads is resolved.