Otay Mesa Road relinquishment and funding pedestrian facility at Virginia Avenue

February 5, 2013

In December 1996, City and Caltrans entered into a co-op agreement for the Otay Mesa Road Widening Project, CIP 52-619.0. This project provides for widening of Otay Mesa Road from four lanes to a six lanes from the easterly terminus of State Route 905 to Harvest Road. The project includes the use of concrete median barriers and stamped concrete medians along selected portions of the road. The project length is approximately 5.2 miles.

This project was required to accommodate the increase in commercial truck traffic generated by the federal improvements to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the closure of the commercial vehicle inspection station at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, and the anticipated increase in vehicular traffic as a result of the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

As part of the cO-OJ:1 agreement the City also agreed to allow Caltrans to use the widened Otay Mesa Road as interim State highway, while Caltrans was constructing State Route 905.

When Caltrans completes State Route 905, Caltrans will return Otay Mesa Road back to the City. Prior to returning the road back to the City, Caltrans will address all maintenance repairs of Otay Mesa Road. from the easterly terminus of State Route 905 to Harvest Road. Upon completion of all maintenance works, City agrees to accept ownership, operation and maintenance of the 'road.

In addition to having Otay Mesa Road repaved, City staff has requested that Caltrans include additional structural improvements including a bike lane, sidewalk enhancements, and gutter repair.

Caltrans has allocated $4.5 million for the repaving of Otay Mesa Road. Caltrans has stated that the scope of work only includes the repaving of Otay Mesa Road and does not include any additional improvements that City staff would like to make. In light of this information, City staff is currently analyzing whether it would be beneficial for the City to have Caltrans transfer the funds ($4.5 mil:lion) to the City to complete this project.

City staff believes there is a possibility that if the project were managed by the City, the additional improvements would be able to be accomplished with the $4.5 million that Caltrans has allocated for the relinquishment improvements. This analysis will be complete in approximately two weeks. If it is determined that the additional work mentioned above can be achieved more efficiently by transferring the funds to the City, I would request that staff work with Caltrans to arrange for the transfer so that work can begin as soon as possible.

If any additional funds are necessary for the Otay Mesa relinquishment improvements project, then at that point funds would be withdrawn from Caltrans' potential funds for the Virginia Avenue pedestrian border crossing project. It is imperative that the Virginia Avenue project retain any future funding.

The Virginia Avenue project is necessary for the community of San Ysidro and the bi-national region, which is in 'dire need of a proper pedestrian border crossing facility. The pedestrian border crossing project is estimated to cost $8 million. As you know, GSA has announced that there is $4 million available to fund this project. Caltrans has stated that they could commit another $4 million if the cost of the relinquishment of Otay Mesa Road does not exceed $4.5 million. Additionally, the City has been granted land by the developer of The Outlets at the Border. The rights fo this land were granted to the City with the stipulation that the project breaks ground by the year 2015.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. For your information - I have attached the co-op agreement between the City and Caltrans.

David Alvarez with District 80 residents


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