SAN DIEGO -- U.S. officials announced a $577 million plan to expand California's San Ysidro port of entry to reduce border wait times and improve security.
The reconfiguration and expansion project, which could begin this summer, will increase the number of lanes in each direction, realign southbound lanes, and create new primary and secondary inspection areas, the San Diego Union-Tribune said.
Redeveloping the San Ysidro border crossing is "imperative for the region's long-term economic health," San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said in a statement. A report by the San Diego Association of Governments said traffic congestion and wait times along the border cost the U.S. and Mexican economies close to $7.2 billion in foregone gross output and more than 62,000 jobs in 2007 alone.
The mayor's office said the San Ysidro Port of Entry is the busiest land border crossing point in the western hemisphere with more than 120,000 crossings by vehicles and pedestrians each day. The total number of crossings is expected to increase by more than 50 percent by 2020 with vehicle traffic across the border increasing up to 70 percent by 2030.
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