Padilla, Newsom, Vargas, Gloria Announce $150 million to Modernize Port of Entry Infrastructure Along California-Mexico Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.)—a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works—announced that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will receive a $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to support the construction of the new Otay Mesa East land port of entry and related transportation infrastructure along the California-Mexico border in San Diego County.

Padilla recently visited the site of this project with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Caltrans, and SANDAG and championed this grant, writing letters to U.S. DOT in April and May 2022.

“I have been proud to support efforts to upgrade transportation infrastructure around the San Diego County-California border, and I am excited to announce that $150 million in federal funding has been awarded to the project,” said Senator Padilla. “Modernizing our land ports of entry is critical for improving the efficiency of cross-border travel that is an engine of California’s economy. Investing in our border region is important as we work to rebuild equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is one of California’s highest priority infrastructure projects – a state-of-the-art facility that will reduce wait times, curb greenhouse gas emissions, power economic growth, enhance regional mobility and bolster international trade along the busiest border region in the Western Hemisphere,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “I want to thank Sen. Padilla for his support for this project and the Biden-Harris Administration for recognizing its transformative potential with this crucial investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“I’m pleased that the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project will receive $150 million from the Department of Transportation,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.). “These funds are crucial to move construction along, and I’m proud to support this project as we work to improve border efficiency and boost our regional economy.”

“The new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry is going to be a game changer for the San Diego region, for California, and our nation,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “This $150 million in federal funding toward construction of the third port of entry for our region is an investment in increased binational commerce, shorter border wait times, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. I thank Secretary Buttigieg, President Biden, and Vice President Harris for investing in our region and our people.”

Along with the new port of entry and associated highway infrastructure, the project includes inspection equipment for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, zero-emission chargers for staff vehicles, a commercial vehicle enforcement facility to be used by the California Highway Patrol and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and deployment of systems to support efficient traffic management throughout the port of entry.