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Congressional Leaders Secure Funding for San Ysidro Expansion

Reps. Juan Vargas, Susan Davis and Scott Peters lobbied for the funding to complete the expansion of the world's busiest port of entry.

Vehicles crowd the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Patch file photo.
Vehicles crowd the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Patch file photo.
San Diego's three Democratic members of congress announced Tuesday that $226 million in federal funds will be available to complete expansion of the overcrowded San Ysidro Port of Entry, the world's busiest.

Reps. Juan Vargas, Susan Davis and Scott Peters lobbied for the funds, which were included in the recent federal omnibus spending bill. Work on the project began in 2011, and the funds were needed for the final phase of construction.

"The improvements that will be made to our border infrastructure will boost our economy and generate jobs, while also increasing border efficiency and security," Vargas said in a joint statement. "I applaud the bipartisan effort made by the San Diego Congressional delegation, and U.S. Senators (Diane) Feinstein and (Barbara) Boxer, to ensure that this vital project received funding."

San Ysidro is the world's busiest international land crossing, handling more than 11 million passenger vehicles, 68,000 buses, and 8 million pedestrians in 2012. 

"Finishing the border crossing at San Ysidro is the top priority for our regional business community, and securing this funding was my personal infrastructure funding priority for this congress," Peters said.

Davis said that "adding more lanes at the border crossing has been something San Diegans and local business leaders have long told me is a top priority for our region."

Funding for the project has been the top regional priority for the San Diego Regional Association of Governments and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

SANDAG estimates that delays and inefficiency at the border cost the region $7.2 billion in lost output and 62,000 jobs.

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