SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Newly constructed state Route 905, which connects the main border crossing used by commercial truckers to the rest of the highway system, opened to motorists Monday.
The six-lane, 6.4-mile highway was built using $441 million in local, state and federal funds, including about $92 million from a stimulus program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The highway parallels Otay Mesa Road, which was previously the only street to provide access to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. About 68,000 vehicles traveled on the road daily to reach the border crossing, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.
Otay Mesa Road had been a dangerous mix of big rigs, passenger cars and cross-traffic, but the new freeway segment is expected to lighten the load.
"It's very nice, a lot easier, a lot faster," a driver told a local news station.
Trade through the Otay Mesa border crossing is expected to increase, according to SANDAG.
"The completion of SR 905 has a significance not only for the region, but also for Mexico, California and the rest of the United States," said Jack Dale, SANDAG's first vice chair. "SR 905 is part of a planned system along the international border that will safely and efficiently move people and commerce between the two nations, fueling our economies and improving our quality of life."
Two more improvements to state Route 905 are planned -- construction of an interchange at state Route 125 and completion of on- and off-ramps at Heritage Road, according to SANDAG. The agency is waiting on $163 million to complete the two projects.