According to Tijuana’s daily Frontera, lack of binational coordination and U.S. budgetary bottlenecks could make the effort to ease border-crossing times a spectacular failure — a fracaso, as one Mexican official put it.
Although efforts have been made, with multiple meetings between U.S. and Mexican officials since the inception of the border-station construction project, it appears that things won’t pan out as hoped.
Mexico expects to finish their side of the new border-crossing facility in October of 2012; the completion date of the U.S. side remains open-ended.
The new Mexican station, named El Chaparral, is located an eighth of a mile west of the current facility, just across the border from San Ysidro. The biggest problem associated with the non-synchronized construction schedules is that Mexico-bound traffic must somehow be diverted from I-5.
Frontera cites U.S. budgetary constraints as a reason for the problem, quoting a U.S. General Services Administration spokesperson. The U.S. has yet to approve about $290 million, half the construction budget ($583 million), which includes the construction of dedicated roadways diverting traffic from I-5 to the El Chaparral station.
As possible remedies, three scenarios have been discussed at the binational meetings, all of which would entail routing traffic from I-5 using existing surface streets in San Ysidro, potentially creating huge traffic backups for daily commuters.