On November 15th, officials from California, the United States federal government, and Mexico convened in Calexico to cut the ribbon on a General Services Administration (GSA) project that would expand the bridge there.
The Calexico East Land Port of Entry, the formal name for the bridge, connects Calexico, California with Mexicali, Mexico. It is located approximately 50 west of Yuma, Arizona. An estimated 453,000 commercial vehicles and 2.2 million passenger vehicles travel across the Calexico bridge to and from our southern neighbors every year, and over the course of the next handful of months, six new lanes will be opened for public use. Just some of the planned expansions include:
- Two northbound (entering California) lanes for commercial vehicles.
- Two southbound (entering Mexico) lanes for commercial vehicles.
- Two northbound for passenger lanes vehicles.
- Eight feet of shoulder space for out-of-service vehicles.
At the time of publishing for this article the first section of the project, the northbound truck lanes, is already completed. The current project timeline has the completion date set for the end of Spring 2024.
“With reduced traffic congestion, we pave the way for improved accessibility, fostering economic development and strengthening the bonds that tie us together,” said Roque Caza, the Calexico area port director for the United States Customs and Border Patrol.
With Mexico recently toppling China as the United States’ largest business partner, it is likely that many businesses in both countries see this $32.5 million project as worth every penny. The project is a joint operation done on behalf of the United States Department of Transportation, California Department of Transportation, and the Imperial County Transportation Commission, as well as the GSA and United States Customs and Border Patrol, with additional help from the Mexican government.
With the increased lane count, especially for commercial vehicles, both sides of the equation hope that it will increase economic growth for both countries. At the very least, it will provide a more viable alternate route for truckers that would otherwise travel through Texas, should the Lonestar State opt to increase the scrutiny of its border screenings again.
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