California Department of Transportation

International Border Studies


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Gilberto Chambers
(916) 653-3424

District 11

Sergio Pallares
(619) 688-3610

Fact Sheet

The District 11 International Border Area Fact Sheet provides a summary of freight planning information for the California-Mexico International Border Area.  Links to representative project and major studies are provided below. 

The international border region of California consists of two counties (San Diego and Imperial) and five Baja California municipalities (Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate and Mexicali).  California and Baja California share a 150-mile border, with six land ports of entry (POEs):

San Diego County-Tijuana/Tecate POEs:

  • San Ysidro-Puerta México,
  • Otay Mesa-Mesa de Otay, and
  • Tecate-Tecate. 

Imperial County-Mexicali POEs:

  • Calexico-Mexicali,
  • Calexico East-Mexicali II, and
  • Andrade-Los Algodones


Border Area Freight Planning

Freight planning for the California-Mexico International Border Area requires special considerations, not only for the busy land POEs and access highways, but also for freight transported through the Port of San Diego and by regional and national rail lines.  Caltrans coordinates on goods movement projects and initiatives with its government counterparts in Mexican transportation planning agencies, along with other U.S. local and regional transportation agencies, state and federal agencies, and many other stakeholders on both sides of the border. 

Caltrans freight planning in the border region is led by the District 11 International Border Studies Branch (IBSB), with support from Caltrans headquarters Office Freight Planning

The IBSB’s mission is to reduce congestion and to improve mobility in California’s international transportation network and POEs.  Services provided by IBSB include:

  • Coordination among regional transportation partners;
  • Policy advocacy for border study issues;
  • Transportation planning studies and initiatives;
  • Integration of goods movement needs into system planning studies;  
  • Support to other governmental entities involved with U.S.-Mexico border transportation issues, such as the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and
  • Participation on binational coordination planning working groups.


  • SR-905
    This project will provide a six-lane freeway to serve the POE and businesses in the Otay Mesa Area.
  • SR-11/Otay Mesa East POE.  
    This project will improve the efficient movement of people, goods, and services between the United States and Mexico.
  • Southline Rail Improvements – Yard Expansion and Mainline Improvements
    This project provides the essential rail connection for the region’s freight operations on the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway (SD&AE) between the U.S.-Mexico border at San Ysidro, the Port of San Diego, and downtown San Diego.
  • SR-78/111 Brawley Bypass
    This project will provide continuity between SR-111 and SR-86, a key facility in the International Border Trade Corridor.





Border Studies & Reports

Bottleneck Study, November 2004
At the request of the U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee (JWC), Caltrans District 11 conducted an analysis of transportation infrastructure and traffic management issues related to cross-border bottlenecks, primarily at the major ports of entry.

Survey and Analysis of Trade and Goods Movement Between California and Baja California, Mexico; June 2003
Sponsored by Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), this project assessed cross-border shipping patterns among the key private sector stakeholders in binational commerce, including manufacturer, shippers, and transportation representatives.  The study surveyed a variety of participants to determine their experience and concerns regarding border-crossing delays at Otay Mesa, Calexico, and Tecate, and to develop a reliable source of data to be used in supporting recommendations for improvements to border transportation infrastructure or federal inspection procedures.