Our collaboration on many bi-national and border related issues has greatly benefitted our region. Our continued efforts to grow San Diego's border economy is important to ensure commerce flows freely between the U.S.-Mexico border. Investing in our most active trade corridors benefits the national, state and local economies. The San Diego County-Baja California Border Region is one of the most active trade corridors in the world. However, there are many vital infrastructure projects that still require funding in order to allow the corridor to function effectively and allow the ever growing amount of commerce that runs through our region to flow in an efficient manner. The lack of necessary infrastructure is currently causing negative impacts in our local communities. Truck traffic congestion blocks access to border businesses, and diesel engines waiting to cross through our border area are idling for long hours, creating unhealthy air quality impacts on residents and businesses on both sides of the border.
With your support, the City has begun the planning and design to widen a critical two-lane road, La Media Road, which currently carries all laden export trucks to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry into Mexico. Trucks entering the U.S. must exit SR 905 to sit on this inadequate street, which blocks access to existing businesses and local vehicular traffic for hours, waiting to enter the Federal Customs facilities. Funding for this project has, thus far, been realized by utilizing FBA funds, but this funding source is insufficient to finish the project in its entirety.
There is an opportunity for our region to gain access to funds which could help build our border infrastructure. It is critical that funding available to California from the National Highway Freight Program under the recently enacted Fixing Americas Surface Transportation (FAST) Act be allocated to the Trade Corridor Improvement Fund (TCIF), which was created to receive such funding for infrastructure projects such as La Media Road. This could be done most quickly by the Governor and the State Legislature by approving legislation in the current special session. I would request that this priority be added to the legislative package and that the City's state lobbying team immediately focus on securing this funding to ensure that infrastructure projects that will improve our local economy receive the much needed state and federal funding they deserve. Given the need to act expeditiously, I respectfully request that you notify our lobbyists of the need to begin tracking this issue and notify the Council on efforts to allocate the funding to the TCIF.
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