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San Ysidro pedestrian bridge comes down

Bumper to bumper. I-5 traffic crosses past pedestrian bridge demolition at San Ysidro point of entry.
Bumper to bumper. I-5 traffic crosses past pedestrian bridge demolition at San Ysidro point of entry.
Adam Benjamin

The run across the border at San Ysidro over 100,000 travelers use a day slowed heavy on the I-5 southbound lanes this week. Ordinary wait times on the two, or one, open lanes stretched long while Hensel Phelps construction team workers demolished the old pedestrian bridge crosing overhead the freeway path to Mexico.

Bridge demolition above San Ysidro southbound lanes. Mon., Jan. 27th.
Adam Benjamin

Both sides of the freeway stayed busy with work on the 732 million dollar project building the Port of the Future. Work easing the U.S.-Mexico traffic suffered a two week set back that began on January 17th, the day the I-5 lanes shut down, and ended on Thursday morning at 6 am on the 30th.

Sunday night the 26th, the landmark pedestrian bridge no longer teemed with border crossers. The walkers map had changed for good. Day crossers used the San Ysidro port of entry east side path to cross on Monday. Signs posted across the I-5 southbound traffic lanes, on the far west side at the new east west bridge opened in April 2014 pointed the way across the bridge to the new crossing opened to the public in 2012.

The bridge cut short Monday above the car traffic, and the closed lanes, ended in an empty ramps building on the west side workers stayed busy in the dirt.

The busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere again proved it was not unbreakable.

Taking hours to cross south is the price San Diego travelers paid to let the federal General Services Administration's team open up the binational road. Border crossers, now that federal lawmakers in Washington finally decided to put the over two hundred million dollars needed to finish the San Ysidro project in the omnibus spending bill passed in January, can plan on using a direct I-5 path to Mexico's El Chaparral border crossing station constrtuction workers will lay in. Realigning the I-5 path into Mexico will give the thick crowds heading for the binational gateway major turn options on the cross border path.

Commuters have to trust California Senator Barbara Boxer that the point of entry improvements work that created jobs using Recovery Act funds will ease traffic, and "speed the flow of commerce." Traffic tie ups fill the paths the General Services Administration will open up as soon as possible.

Time until the work on the Port of the Future strated in 2009 finally stops will end. Funding hold ups are over. Pedestrians walking west to the east crossing on the new pedestrian bridge can see a new path to Mexico is slowly developing.

This is the latest story told for Saturday City Scene Chronicles. TO read earlier articles, read
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