A development plan by the government of Mexico's Baja California Norte (BCN) state has identified various aspects of the state's infrastructure that require investment.
The report cites several areas needing attention, including; expanding traffic capacity for international crossings, the continuing population booms in the border cities of Mexicali and Tijuana, the growing urbanization of the coastal strip from Tijuana to Ensenada, the need to improve integration across and around the Gulf of California, the lack of bypasses serving major population centers, and the general scarcity of resources to maintain and build out the state's highway network.
The report adds that it is not just Mexicali and Tijuana that are growing at rapid rates. The San Quentin Valley, south of Ensenada is registering a 7.6% annual population increase thanks to new job opportunities. But the growth is not limited to specific cities: BCN is expected to require 237,800 new homes over the 2001-2006 period, according to a federal report, second only among the states to Mexico state, and well ahead of other growing regions such as the Federal District, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon.
BCN has a network of 11,129km of highways, including 372km of four-lane roads. The expansion of roads along the Tijuana-Ensenada strip and the integration of towns on the Gulf of California coast will be priorities.
Modernizing and streamlining border traffic to and from the US will also be given attention. It is estimated that the Tijuana-San Ysidro crossing alone handles 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians daily.
Other major crossings at Tecate, Mexicali, Los Algodones and Mesa de Otay all report "insufficient installations," and will need to increase capacity.
The BCN state government wants to promote railroads as an integral part of "multi-modal" transport nodes, combining them with road, air and shipping services at key points in the state, for both cargo and passengers.
The port of Ensenada has been identified as an ideal place to establish such a multi-modal center, combining its strategic location with existing port infrastructure, the report said.
However, the government wants to attend to integration with the rest of Mexico and not just the US border states of California and Arizona.