San Ysidro crossing to shut down Sept. 23-25, diverting traffic to Otay Mesa

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The San Ysidro Port of Entry, the busiest land border crossing in the world, will be shut down from 3 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, to 12 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25. All southbound lanes of Interstate 5 and Interstate 808 will be closed south of SR-905, according to the General Services Administration website.

Vehicles entering Mexico during the closure will need to take a detour to the Otay Land Port of Entry, about 10 miles east. Northbound motorists crossing the border from Mexico will not be affected, according to GSA.

Although trucks are not allowed at the port, detoured vehicles can affect nearby traffic and congestion at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the crossing where trucks are rerouted.

The closure is for a realignment project on a portion of I-5. The interstate also will be expanded into the Mexico El Chaparral Port of Entry. Once complete, southbound vehicle inspection lanes will increase from five to 10 within the port and from 10 to 19 at the El Chaparral crossing. Eight northbound inspection lanes will be added as well as 15 more inspection booths. Realignment is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

According to GSA, the San Ysidro crossing processes about 50,000 northbound vehicles each day and serves as a “critical economic engine” in the San Diego-Tijuana area. The temporary closure is part of larger $741 million project for the port. All three phases are slated to be complete in 2019.

After the project is complete, the following changes will be in place:

  • "Port of the Future" featuring sustainable design and technology
  • 38 additional vehicle inspection booths
  • Realigns portion of Interstate 5 to connect to El Chaparral
  • Enhances U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s ability to conduct its mission
  • Additional bidirectional pedestrian crossing and multimodal transit center

“In designing the new San Ysidro LPOE, GSA is committed to build the ‘Port of the Future’ and strives to build a facility that is sustainable, operationally scalable, and will dramatically reduce the Port’s carbon footprint, while at the same time enhancing CBP’s ability to conduct their mission,” GSA states on its website.

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