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Two Thumbs Up For Innovative New Infrastructure

We need it, maybe we don’t No. 1: The Cross-Border Xpress in Otay Mesa opens Dec. 9.

CBX was privately financed and developed by Otay-Tijuana Ventures.

Ticketed airline travelers can use the new pedestrian bridge over the U.S.-Mexico border to get to Tijuana International Airport for a one-way fee of $13 to $17.

One appeal to the local business community is direct flights to Asia. When the push for CBX began long ago, San Diego’s challenging airport dynamics precluded the use of big jetliners needed for long haul fuel capacity. The steep descent and ascent from San Diego International Airport did not mesh with the length of the runway. But through advances in aviation efficiency, newer jetliners now fly from San Diego directly to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda). More flights to Asia are expected.

Reality check No. 1: Yes, we need this.

Tijuana already has more flights to Asia — to Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China and Narita International Airport near Tokyo. Plus, there are more than two dozen direct destinations from Tijuana to other parts of Mexico that are not available from Southern California airports. More than 1.5 million passengers in 2016 are expected to land in Tijuana and walk into San Diego to spend their money.

CBX will be a big hit.

• • •

We need it, maybe we don’t No. 2: The $1 billion desalination plant in Carlsbad opens Dec. 7.

The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere could eventually provide 7 percent of San Diego County’s water.

Israeli-based IDE Technologies built the plant, which is owned by Poseidon Resources Corp., which has contracted to sell the desalted drinking water to San Diego water agencies. But critics say now we

don’t even need it, based on the conversation achieved over the past few years and the added average monthly rate hike of about $6 per month

per household.

Reality check No. 2: Of course we need the additional source of water.

San Diego County is expected to grow by almost 1 million people in the next 35 years. Besides, experts warn that an intense El Nino in Southern California will not ease the drought. More than 75 percent of the state’s demand for irrigation and drinking water is from the southern third of the state. But about 75 percent of the state’s reservoir capacity is north of Fresno.

Our water woes are not over for eternity.

Editor-in-Chief Nels Jensen can be reached via njensen@sdbj.com or 858-277-6897.

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