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Otay-Tijuana Cross Border Xpress

Border walk

San Diego, California

“Your team has not only engineered a physical bridge; you have designed a connection across cultures.”

This testimonial from US Customs & Border Protection (USCBP), the primary tenant in his project, appropriately sums up this unique project. The simplest way to describe CBX in a single sentence is: “An airport without any aircraft attached that straddles the US-Mexican border.”

This visionary, privately-funded project, which received wide support on both sides of the border, is the only one of its kind in the world. It involved agreements between the US and Mexican governments to create a privately-financed skybridge over an international border, and the first new USCBP facility to be built since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

CBX transforms travel between US and Mexico by facilitating an easier border crossing for millions of passengers travelling for leisure and business, while significantly reducing the carbon intensity of travel. It is also expected to be a major catalyst for economic growth on both sides of the border.

Over two million people use land-crossings each year to cross the US-Mexican border for flights departing from Mexico’s Tijuana International Airport (TIJ). The time it takes to drive across the border is unpredictable, and the traffic and resultant air pollution is considerable. The CBX takes advantage of TIJ’s close proximity to the border with an 86,000 SF building containing departures and arrivals functions, plus a 390-foot pedestrian skybridge over the border. Passengers departing from the US, park on CBX property, enter the building, check-in, walk over the border using the new bridge, and literally descend into TIJ to reach their flights. Returning passengers land at TIJ, take the bridge across the border, enter the US through the new USCBP facility, and emerge from the CBX to take their preferred form of transportation.

Cross Border Xpress (CBX) is a unique facility, the result of an accident of geography. Stantec's Stanis Smith explains.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>It's like an airport terminal in the sense that there is a check-in. The difference, of course, is that you're checking in in the United States, crossing a bridge, and then dropping into an airport terminal that happens to be located in Mexico.</p> <p>It's a pure accident of geography that the Tijuana terminal is immediately adjacent to the border between Mexico and the United States.</p> <p>Our clients saw the opportunity to acquire land, which could be used for a border crossing and a bridge crossing between the U.S. and Mexico.</p> <p>For people who are flowing from the U.S. to Mexico, they would drive onto our property, park their vehicles, then enter into our building, check-in, in our building, and then walk across a bridge that goes across the border, and drop directly into the Tijuana terminal.</p> <p>Our understanding of how airports work has enabled us to design this unique project because many aspects of the project are very similar to an airport. So in terms of the people flow, in terms of how you size the facility, in terms of how you design a check-in facility, in terms of how you design a USCBP Customs and Border Protection operation, all of those are analogous to an airport.</p> <p>I'm proud of the fact that we were able to help our client realize an extraordinary vision. And to create something that is truly unique, a project that's going to be held up as a world-wide example of collaboration between two countries.</p>

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