Everyone is invited to a community fair and fun walk/run/bike ride on Santee’s new stretch of freeway from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 to celebrate the upcoming opening of State Route 52 between SR 125 and SR 67.
The free, public event will take place on the new freeway, which will open to traffic in late March. The highway project is being delivered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). SANDAG is working with the City of Santee, Santee Chamber of Commerce, and numerous private sponsors to organize the community event.
The first 3,500 guests will receive a free T-shirt courtesy of event sponsors, including exclusive presenting sponsor San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), as well as major event sponsors: KSON-FM, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, AECOM, Flatiron, MTS, Simon Wong Engineering, and SKANSKA.
Dignitaries will kick off the celebration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. on the freeway near the Cuyamaca Street interchange, followed immediately by the three-mile bike ride, fun run, and walk on the new lanes. The community event, which will last until 1 p.m., will include special flyovers courtesy of the Gillespie Air Show, live music, classic and “green” car displays, booths, and kids’ activities such as face painters and an inflatable jumper.
The 3.5-mile portion of new freeway will complete the 17.7-mile link from SR 67 all the way to I-5, envisioned by planners for decades. This final portion of the freeway travels through the City of Santee. Construction began in 2008 and cost approximately $520 million – paid for with the TransNet half-cent sales tax, as well as state and federal funds.
The project will open a direct route between Santee and the coast, connecting East County residents with job centers and recreational activities. The improvements are expected to cut traffic on I-8 by as much as 20 percent, as well as reduce congestion on local arterials such as Mission Gorge Road, Mast Boulevard, and Prospect Avenue.
For more information including event times, directions and parking information, call the SR 52 event line at (619) 699-1979 or visit www.sandag.org/SR52.
Tedi Jackson, Senior Public Outreach Officer