New inspection lanes at PedEast
New inspection lanes at PedEast in San Ysidro. Courtesy GSA

U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened the new “PedEast” crossing at San Ysidro on Wednesday afternoon, adding 22 pedestrian lanes for faster processing.

The new northbound pedestrian facility, located south of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System trolley and bus station, will cut wait times for the 20,000 people who cross on foot daily.

It’s part of a lengthy $741 million project by the General Services Administration to modernize and expand San Ysidro for both foot and vehicle traffic. Work began in 2011 and will be completed late next year.

“The opening of PedEast brings us one step closer to fully realizing the economic potential of reduced wait times at the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere,” said Rep. Juan Vargas at a ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the 2:30 p.m. opening.

Vargas and other members of the San Diego Congressional delegation were instrumental in securing federal funding for the project.

The PedEast opening attracted civic leaders from both sides of the border, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his counterpart, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum Buenrostro.

“This new facility is going to greatly improve the traveler experience and provide more streamlined crossing to and from Mexico,” said Faulconer. “I was proud to advocate for funding at the federal level to complete the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry expansion so we can continue to grow our regional economy.”

In 2016, the “PedWest” crossing with 14 lanes was opened. A new custom house and vehicle inspection stations will open next year.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.