By Miriam Raftery
March 20, 2011 (Santee) – An estimated 20,000 people turned out to run, walk, bike and party atop the last link of Highway 52 at yesterday’s “Sea to Santee” celebration. Now open to traffic, the new freeway segment is the last link connecting Highway 67 in East County to Interstate 5 and La Jolla.
Transportation improvements have historically heralded changes in East County, starting with cattle drives and the coming of stagecoach and railway lines in the 19th century. Invention of the "horseless carriage" brought construction of Highways 94 and 80, connecting East County to San Diego and Arizona. The aviation era led to the airfield at Gillespie Field. More recently, construction of Interstate 8, Highway 67 and now Highway 52 further improved access to East County for visitors from around the county and across the nation.
The new highway will also make it faster for East County residents to reach San Diego destinations including employment and yes, beaches. Surf's up, Santee!