California State Route 905
State Route 905 (SR 905) is a state highway in San Diego, California, that connects Interstate 5 (I-5) and Interstate 805 in San Ysidro to the United States – Mexico border at Otay Mesa. The entire highway from I-5 to the international border is a freeway with a few exits that continues east from the I-805 interchange before turning southeast and reaching the border.
SR 905 highlighted in red
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 632|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length||8.964 mi (14.426 km)|
|Existed||1986 (from SR 117)–present|
|West end||Oro Vista Road / Tocayo Avenue in San Diego|
| I-5 in San Diego|
I-805 in San Diego
SR 125 / SR 11 in Otay Mesa
|East end||Fed. 2 at Mexican border near Otay Mesa|
SR 905 was formerly routed on Otay Mesa Road, which had been in existence since at least 1927. Before it was SR 905, the route was first designated as part of SR 75, before it was redesignated as SR 117. The freeway was completed between I-5 and Otay Mesa Road in 1976. The border crossing opened in 1985 after several delays in obtaining funding for the construction of what would become SR 905. After becoming SR 905 in 1986, the highway was converted to first an expressway in 2000 and then a freeway in 2010 and 2011. Plans are for this highway to eventually become known as Interstate 905.
SR 905 begins at the intersection of Tocayo Avenue and Oro Vista Road in Nestor. It begins as a freeway, intersecting with I-5 at a partial cloverleaf interchange. After interchanges with Beyer Boulevard and Picador Boulevard, the freeway then intersects I-805. Following this, SR 905 veers southeast to parallel Otay Mesa Road, with interchanges at Caliente Avenue (in Pacific Gateway Park), Britannia Boulevard, and La Media Road. After La Media, the route interchanges with the SR 125 (South Bay Expressway) toll road and the SR 11 freeway, which is planned to be a toll facility that will serve a new border crossing east of Otay Mesa. Immediately after, SR 905 turns south to its final interchange at Siempre Viva Road before the route ends at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, which traffic of large trucks must use to cross the border.
SR 905 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System and part of the National Highway System,a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. In 2013, SR 905 had an annual average daily traffic (AADT) of 58,000 between Beyer Boulevard and I-805, and 18,400 around the I-5 junction, the former of which was the highest AADT for the freeway.
What was known as the "Otay Mesa road" existed as a dirt road by 1927. A paved road connected San Ysidro to Brown Field and the easternmost ranches in the Otay Mesa area by 1935. Discussions were held between San Diego County and National City over the maintenance of the road in 1950, since it was used by trucks travelling to the landfill. The majority of SR 905, running in parallel with Otay Mesa Road from Interstate 5 to SR 125, was added to the state highway system and the California Freeway and Expressway System in 1959 as Legislative Route 281, and became part of SR 75 in the 1964 renumbering.
Planning was underway for the extension of SR 75 east to the then-proposed SR 125 by 1963. The California Highway Commission endorsed the routing for SR 75 in 1965 along Otay Mesa Road, away from future residential developments. There were plans as early as 1970 to have a highway heading southwest to a new border crossing that would bypass the Tijuana area. The next year, James Moe, the state public works director, subsequently asked the California State Legislature to lengthen SR 75 to connect to this new crossing, rather than using I-5 to make the connection.
Following this, in 1972, the legislature added a new SR 117, which extended this part of SR 75 southwest to the Mexican border near Border Field State Park, to the state highway system, and a southerly extension of SR 125 to the border at Otay Mesa to the state highway and Freeway and Expressway systems. Two years later, planning began for the construction of the Otay Mesa crossing and the construction of SR 75 to connect it to I-5 and I-805. Later, the Comprehensive Planning Organization (CPO), the local association of municipal governments, recommended using $4 million of federal funding for the construction of SR 75. The CPO later endorsed expediting construction of the freeway before completion of the border crossing, so that the freeway would primarily serve border traffic, thus preventing land speculation in Otay Mesa. While Mexican authorities wanted the crossing constructed in 1975, the CPO indicated that the funding for SR 75 would not be available until at least 1980, or even 1985. Following this, Representative Lionel Van Deerlin attempted to accelerate the construction of the crossing, even though there was no funding for the highway.
Construction began on the southern portion of SR 75 in mid-1974. In January 1976, the part of SR 75 between I-805 and Otay Mesa Road was opened to traffic. On April 6, the next portion of the freeway opened. However, there were concerns about what to call the freeway, citing confusion with the northern portion of SR 75. The entire cost of the project was $6.3 million. SR 117 was extended east to SR 125, replacing the southerly segment of SR 75, by the Legislature in 1976; this took effect at the beginning of 1977. Estimates for completing the freeway ran from $13.8 million to $28.5 million.
In late 1977, the CPO made plans to push for adding SR 117 to the Interstate Highway System, to obtain additional federal funding. By 1979, both San Diego city and county had allocated $6 million to construct a temporary way to access the border crossing along Otay Mesa and Harvest Roads. Two years later, the City of San Diego indicated that the upgrade of Otay Mesa Road to a four-lane road would be the preferred option; the state agreed to allocate $2 million towards the $10 million project, with the city contributing $6.4 million and the county adding $2.3 million. The Federal Highway Administration approved the continuous roadway via SR 117 and SR 125 from I-5 to the border at Otay Mesa as a non-chargeable (not eligible for federal Interstate Highway construction dollars) part of the Interstate Highway System in October 1984. The Otay Mesa border crossing opened on January 24, 1985. The route number was legislatively changed to 905 in 1986, and signs were updated in 1988. This change was to apply for other federal funding. The original piece of SR 117, west of I-5, also became SR 905 with the rest of SR 117, but Caltrans has not constructed it.
Efforts were underway in 1997 to secure federal funding for the highway and other infrastructure near the Mexican border, largely supported by Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Bob Filner, and Representative Bud Schuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, visited the region before giving informal approval to the proposal. In 1999, Governor Gray Davis approved allocating $27 million in federal funding to complete the freeway. Concerns were expressed by local residents and municipal officials regarding the apparent priority of SR 125 over SR 905 in terms of funding, especially since SR 125 was to be constructed as a toll road, and SR 905 would compete with the toll road enterprise. In May 1998, Congress approved $54 million in funding for the completion of SR 905.
Otay Mesa Road was widened to six lanes in 2000, at a cost of $20.5 million. Before, it had 50 percent more traffic than it was designed to handle; it was considered by the San Diego Union-Tribune as "California's busiest trade route with Mexico", and traffic had increased by a factor of ten, with the number of people dying in traffic accidents approaching five times the state average. The widening of Otay Mesa Road was considered a temporary fix for the problem. The next year, the California Transportation Commission allocated $25 million of state funding towards completing the freeway. The interchange with Siempre Viva Road opened on December 8, 2004. Delays in the U.S. Congress approving federal funding in 2005 resulted in a delayed start to construction for the rest of SR 905.
Construction began on the part of SR 905 between Britannia Boulevard and Siempre Viva Road in April 2008, and from Brittania Boulevard to I-805 in July 2009. Efforts were made to keep construction going despite a shortfall in funding from state bonds in 2009. The part between Britannia Boulevard and Siempre Viva Road opened in December 2010. The interchange with I-805 began to be upgraded in April 2011, and the construction, which used $20 million in federal funding, finished in February 2012. The final freeway segment of SR 905 between I-805 and Britannia Boulevard opened on July 30, 2012. The entire cost of the project connecting I-805 to the border crossing was $441 million.
Before being upgraded to a freeway between Britannia Boulevard and Siempre Viva Road, SR 905 had a direct connection with SR 125 via two at-grade intersections on Otay Mesa Road. When that segment of the SR 905 freeway was opened in 2010, the interchange with SR 125 had initially been omitted, forcing traffic on SR 905 and SR 125 to exit their respective freeways and use Otay Mesa Road (which continues to parallel SR 905) to make the connection. To help fix this problem, ramps from SR 905 in both directions and SR 11 westbound to SR 125 northbound were completed on November 30, 2016, at a cost of over $21 million. Southbound traffic on SR 125 must currently still exit to Otay Mesa Road at that toll road's south end in order to connect to SR 905, but the southbound ramps are scheduled to begin construction in 2018.
|Length||8.96 mi (14.42 km)|
Plans are for SR 905 to become Interstate 905; however, it could not be constructed with the same federal government funds that were used for constructing the rest of the Interstate Highway System. This is because I-905 was not constructed as of 1978, when the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 provided that all Interstate construction authorized under previous amendments to the system would be funded by the federal government but additional highway mileage added under would not be funded from the same highway fund.
Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was when the route was established, based on the unconstructed western end at the Mexican border and the rest of the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see the list of postmile definitions). Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The entire route is in San Diego, San Diego County.
|2.84||Oro Vista Road / Tocayo Avenue||At-grade intersection; west end of SR 905|
|3.19||1||I-5||Signed as exits 1A (north) and 1B (south); no exit numbers eastbound; I-5 exit 3|
|3.82||1C||Beyer Boulevard||Signed as exit 1 eastbound; former US 101|
|4.41||2A||Picador Boulevard / Smythe Avenue|
|5.16||2B||I-805||Signed as exits 2B (south) and 2C (north) westbound; I-805 north exit 1B, south exit 1C|
|R6.43||3||Caliente Avenue||Signed as exit 4 westbound|
|R7.72||5||Heritage Road||Proposed interchange|
|R9.70||7||La Media Road|
|R10.50||8||SR 11 east||West end of SR 11 (future toll road); eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
SR 125 north (South Bay Expressway)
|South end of SR 125; no direct access to westbound SR 905 from southbound SR 125|
|R11.60||9||Siempre Viva Road||Last U.S. exit eastbound|
|R11.73||Mexico–United States border (Otay Mesa Port of Entry)||East end of SR 905; continues beyond the international border as Boulevard Garita de Otay|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
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