SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Mexico and the United States have announced 14 projects along the border to improve infrastructure with a price tag of $1.2 billion dollars.
The goal of the projects is to expedite border crossings while improving security.
The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The announcement was made during a news conference attended by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard on Thursday in Tijuana.
Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila was also involved.
Salazar said the plan is to make crossing the border a lot faster and fight the flow of guns, money and weapons by using better technology.
“This is a historic day,” said Salazar. “Both countries will work together to make the border between both countries more secure while allowing commerce to flow faster.”
One of the projects includes work on Otay II, which will become the third major border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.
Others include the modernization of ports of entry including Mexicali-Calexico, San Luis I, Agua Prieta, Cordova de las Americas, Santa Teresa, the international bridge in Laredo and a new crossing in Nogales.
“All of these projects are at different stages of construction, but we have been given instructions to increase the speed of the work, we’ll have meetings every month to discuss progress being made with the work,” said Ebrard.
Ebrard added that the U.S.-Mexico border is the world’s busiest in terms of crossings and will continue to be this way for decades to come.
“We will try to do in one year, what we haven’t done over the last 18,” said Ebrard. “Another theme is technology, there are inequities in connectivity, we need to make sure there is movement in this area to be able to provide more security.”
Another goal according to both Ebrard and Salazar is to be more effective in the fight against fentanyl, weapons and money that flow south from the United States.
“We’re going to use technology to reduce fight these illicit activities,” said Ebrard.