State Route 52: Sea to Santee
Grand Opening Event - Saturday, March 19
The grand opening of State Route 52 was a day to remember! Approximately 20,000 people attended the community fair and fun walk/run/bike ride on the freeway on Saturday, March 19 celebrating the upcoming opening of State Route 52 between SR 125 and SR 67. The free public event took place in Santee on the new freeway before it opened to traffic on March 29.
Radio legend “Shotgun Tom” Kelly joined local dignitaries in a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by the three-mile bike ride, fun run, and walk on the new lanes. The community celebration continued into the afternoon with aerial flyovers courtesy of the Gillespie Air Show, live music, classic and “green” car displays, more than 75 booths, free food and fun for kids. The first 3,500 guests received a free commemorative T-shirt.
Many thanks go to our event sponsors, including exclusive presenting sponsor SDG&E and major private event sponsors: KSON-FM, Rubio’s, MTS, AECOM, Flatiron, Simon Wong Engineering, Sycuan, and SKANSKA. The highway project is being delivered by Caltrans and SANDAG. In addition to our sponsors, SANDAG, along with the City of Santee and the Santee Chamber of Commerce, organized the community event.
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About State Route 52
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.