The SR 52 freeway extension through Santee into East County opened to motorists on March 29, 2011. A grand opening celebration was held on March 19, 2011.
This project adds Managed Lanes and extends the freeway to improve traffic flow on SR 52 from I-15 east to SR 67. The project has two major components: SR 52 East and SR 52 West.
Benefits of the completed project include:
- Reduced congestion on I-8, Mission Gorge Road, Mast Boulevard, and Prospect Avenue
- Reduced traffic on I-8 by as much as 20%
- Direct access to job centers from East County communities
- Flexibilty of reversing traffic with Managed Lanes
- Improved mobility by increasing roadway capacity
- Travel time reduced by 10 minutes
The SR 52 project reduces identified environmental impacts through the preservation of plant and animal species. In addition, coordination between the project and the Lakeside River Park Conservancy provides for the establishment of a riparian habitat adjacent to the river. The project worked around bike paths and pedestrian trails that run alongside Forester Creek, offering users a safe and scenic tour of the valley.
The SR 52 construction improvements cost approximately $255 million and are funded by state (the California voter-approved Prop. 1B Transportation Bond), local (the San Diego region’s TransNet half-cent sales tax), and federal sources.
In addition to Managed Lane improvements, Caltrans and SANDAG are preparing for a future project to widen the corridor and accommodate further expected growth along SR 52.