Otay Mesa

During a ceremony at the site, ground was finally broken Thursday for the planned 2,200-cell California State Prison at San Diego, which has been mired in controversy and beset by numerous delays. The $139-million prison will be 12 miles east of the Pacific Ocean and two miles north of the international border. Since planning began more than five years ago, the facility on the largely uninhabited Otay Mesa has been the center of several controversies regarding its proximity to the Mexican border, guard-tower spacing, sewers and its role as a catalyst for future development. A legislative audit on how state prison officials completed years of planning for the facility while virtually ignoring the inadequate sewage facilities, is scheduled to be released later this month. The first phase of the prison had been slated to open this summer, but that target date has been pushed back several months.

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