Construction of a pedestrian bridge linking Mexico’s Tijuana International Airport with San Diego is likely to get underway in May this year. According to a news portal UTSanDiego, the project has overcome almost all the hurdles in its way and should be completed sometime next year.
The pedestrian bridge, with a US customs office on its premises, will help air passengers evade waiting lengthy hours for customs clearance at the border crossings in San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. The plan surfaced for the first time in 2008, but soon hit a string of roadblocks. Now, the UTSanDiego says, the project “appears to have cleared its final hurdle.”
If the project goes according to the plan, airline passengers in the US will be able to park their cars in San Diego and walk across the bridge to board a plane in Tijuana. Likewise, they can walk directly back onto US soil upon their arrival in the Mexican airport.
“Otay-Tijuana Venture has agreed to build the Customs inspection facility and pay for staffing,” reported the website, quoting R. Gil Kerlikowske, the newly named commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Earlier reports stated that the project required multiple government permits, including presidential permits from both the United States and Mexico. It remains unclear whether the developer has now acquired all such permits.
The construction company is planning to collect tolls, between $13 and $17 per passenger, for financing the project.
Located in Mesa de Otay, immediately south of the U.S border, Tijuana Airport handled 4,268,800 passengers in 2013. It is the fifth busiest airport in Mexico after Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Monterrey airports.
The airport, which can handle up to 10 million passengers and 360 flights per day, serves the majority of the most important destinations inside Mexico.