Reps. Peters, Vargas, Davis, and Hunter Celebrate San Ysidro Port of Entry PedEast Grand Opening
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) celebrated the opening of PedEast, the newest piece of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry modernization that will increase pedestrian inspection capacity at the busiest land port in the Western Hemisphere. The new structure adds 22 lanes to the existing 14 lanes at PedWest, effectively doubling capacity and increasing efficiency by cutting down on individual wait times.
“The San Ysidro modernization is an example of the kind of infrastructure investments we should be making at the border,” said Rep. Peters. “When I was first elected in 2013, wait times were costing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for both the U.S. and Mexico, so the San Diego delegation—Republicans and Democrats—worked together to restore funding for San Ysidro. The pedestrian crossing opening today builds on other modernizations that have already reduced wait times and shows what we can accomplish when we work together.”
The final funding for PedEast was included in an omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014. All five Members of Congress from San Diego worked to get $226 million for the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Expansion Project to allow Phase II and Phase III of the project to move forward. Securing full funding for the project—$741 million total—allowed all three phases to be built simultaneously, saving time and money in the long-run. Federal, state, and local cooperation with Mexico has allowed significant upgrades on both sides of the border with minimal effect on crossings.
“As the Representative for the entire California/Mexico border, it has been an honor to work with a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress, business groups, and community members to secure full funding for the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-53). “These positive improvements have a major impact on the border community and I look forward to working with this coalition to finalize improvements to the remaining land ports of entry on our shared border.”
“As the senior member of the San Diego Congressional Delegation, I have been involved in ensuring that the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry received necessary funding for this modernization project since 2004,” said Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53). “The San Ysidro Port is not only the busiest land port in the world, but an economic engine that contributes to the economic vibrancy of the San Diego-Baja region. The opening of the new PedEast showcases not only a more efficient way to process travelers, but our continued commitment to working with Mexico.”
“Investment in our border infrastructure, both in terms of security and in commerce, is an effort that will benefit our region and communities on both sides of the border,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50).
An estimated 20,000 northbound pedestrians and 70,000 northbound vehicles cross the San Ysidro Port of Entry each day. A 2007 study by the San Diego Association of Governments estimated that delays due to border wait times cost our cross-border economies $7.2 billion in gross output and more than 62,000 jobs that year.