SAN DIEGO–Early this month, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIR/DEIS) on the State Route 11 and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project for a 60-day public comment period through Feb. 1, 2011.
SR 11 will be a 2.5-mile, four-lane state highway that will connect SR 125 and SR 905 in the United States to a new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry (POE) along the U.S.-Mexico border at Otay Mesa East. In Mexico, the corridor will connect the new POE to the Tijuana-Tecate and Tijuana-Ensenada free and toll roads. The project also includes a new Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility in the United States.
A public meeting on the DEIR/DEIS is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ocean View Hills Elementary School, 4919 Del Sol Blvd., San Diego. Staff from Caltrans and SANDAG, along with representatives from the federal General Services Administration, will be on hand to provide information and to answer questions regarding the proposed project.
Together, SR 11 and the new Otay Mesa East POE will improve the efficient movement of people, goods, and services between the United States and Mexico. Caltrans has been conducting the environmental studies for the development of the proposed project.
The estimated cost of the highway and the new POE is approximately $700 million. It will be funded through tolls, fees, and other revenue sources. SANDAG will serve as the toll operator. SANDAG, Caltrans, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the General Services Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with counterpart agencies in Mexico and other stakeholders, are collaborating to develop this binational project.
The DEIR/DEIS examines the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and the alternatives and variations being considered. It describes the proposed project; the alternatives being considered; the project’s effects on the existing environment; the potential impacts of each of the alternatives and variations; and the proposed avoidance, minimization, and/or mitigation measures.
The proposed facilities are being studied under a two-tier process. As part of the Tier I process, a Program Environmental Impact Report/Phase I Environmental Impact Statement was prepared and approved/certified by Caltrans and FHWA in August 2008. The just-released DEIR/DEIS constitutes Tier II of the planning and environmental clearance for the development of the new Otay Mesa East POE, the associated SR 11 highway, and the new California Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility for the inspection of trucks entering California from Mexico.