Otay-Tijuana Cross Border Xpress
Owner Otay Tijuana Ventures LLC
Building Authority San Diego Building Dept.
Lead Design Stantec Architecture Inc.
Contractor Turner Construction Co.
Civil Engineer Latitude 33 Planning and Engineering
Structural Engineers Hope Amundson Structural Engineers; Kleinfelder (Bridge)
MEP Engineer Stantec Consulting Services Inc.
Associate Architect Legorreta y Legorreta
Owner’s Representative The Harrison Co.
Subcontractors Bergelectric; Industrial Commercial Systems; Hazard Construction
This privately financed 390-ft-long pedestrian skybridge straddles the U.S. and Mexico border. A first of its kind in the world, according to project officials, the bridge provides an easier border crossing for millions of travelers using Mexico’s Tijuana International Airport while “respecting the individual security and sovereignty needs and priorities of two nations.”
One Best Projects judge said the public-private collaboration on the project “reflects where the market is going” in the transportation-oriented sector.
The bridge required intense international collaboration and included design staff and construction crews on both sides of the border. Work around the international border fence needed extremely close coordination. A key challenge: hoisting 55-ton to 75-ton steel bridge structural sections into place, including two units that crews lifted and placed over a six-lane federal highway in Mexico near the municipal airport. Pre-task safety planning mitigated hazards. For example, U.S. contractor Turner’s predictive solutions program logged more than 12,000 safety observations during construction. Safety engineers analyzed the data to find ways to prevent future incidents.
The building’s location near a nondescript industrial park allowed designers to create their own architectural context of “simple, dramatic forms and colors that draw their inspiration from the California landscape and the traditional vibrant hues of Mexico,” says Arun Kaiwar, Stantec principal and architect.
Since opening in December 2015, the border crossing has processed some 2,300 passengers each day. Building occupant U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the project team “has not only engineered a physical bridge, they have designed a connection across cultures.”