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Cross-border airport clears key hurdle

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has reached an agreement with an investor group to clear the way for construction of the nation's first cross-border airport terminal connecting San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said during a visit to San Diego on Thursday that the agreement requires the investor group to pay the salaries of U.S. border inspectors and the cost of inspection facilities on a pedestrian bridge between Tijuana's existing airport and the United States. He expects construction to begin on the U.S. side next month.

Construction has already begun on the Mexican side at Tijuana International Airport.

Otay Tijuana Venture -- a partnership that includes Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell and Tijuana's airport operator -- didn't respond to a request for comment.

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