Crowd celebrates opening of Highway 52 to Santee

City News Service

It’s not quite Santee-by-the-Sea, but Saturday’s opening of the final freeway link between Santee and La Jolla was celebrated with great fanfare.

Free T-shirts and food was handed out, there were bike rides on the soon-to-be-busy freeway lanes, and bands played.

The grand opening of the final segment of the Route 52 freeway began with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. near Cuyamaca Street, said David Hicks, a spokesman for San Diego’s Regional Planning Agency.

The celebration continued with a 3-mile bike ride-run-walk on the new road.

The first 3,500 who arrived at the event got free “SR 52 Sea to Santee” T-shirts, and children took trackless train rides on the new road’s lanes, Hicks said.

Aircraft from the Gillespie Air Show performed flyovers for the celebration, and guests also took in a car show, wandering clowns and balloon sculptors, gymnastics demonstrations, high school bands.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department brought its car crash display, lending a serious note.

The 3.5-mile portion of state Route 52 completes the 17.7-mile link between state Route 67 at Santee and Interstate 5 near La Jolla. It’s completion is expected to remove heavy traffic from Mission Gorge Road and Mast Boulevard.

The first segment of freeway opened in the 1970s, in Rose Canyon. Construction on the road’s final link began in 2008 and cost about $520 million, paid for with a half-cent sales tax and state and local funds, Hicks said.

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Posted by Staff on Mar 19, 2011. Filed under News, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Crowd celebrates opening of Highway 52 to Santee”

  1. melanie

    so when will it open for people to drive it?

  2. rhonda

    very poorly organized, noone knew what the other was surpossed to be doing.started one hour later than it was scheduled to start

    • Kepola Moniz

      When was the last time you went to a completely free event and actually had a mountain of stuff to do for free. not to mention all the free food. I was there and it was well worth waiting for! We were so busy having a good time, I didn't have time to notice! Thanks to all the folks who made it happen for our county!

  3. Karebrz

    I had an absolute BLAST!!! Iy was a fun FREE event that Santee should be proud of :0)

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