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View Finder: SR-52 Expansion Grand Opening Festival

The new freeway expansion is packed for the first time ever, with bikers and people filling the festival on the freeway -Updated with video-

Many people are wondering when the extension actually opens to traffic, this is scheduled for March 26, Santee Patch will let you know more when it becomes available.

Saturday's opening of the final was celebrated with great fanfare by about 20,000 people.

Bicyclists and runners took over the soon-to-be-busy freeway lanes, and bands played after the by city and county leaders.

The first 3,500 who arrived at the event got free “SR 52 Sea to Santee” T-shirts, and free food and other goodies were in abundance.

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 and high school bands.

The brought its , 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. Its completion is expected to remove heavy traffic from Mission Gorge Road and Mast Boulevard.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Dolores Brown March 21, 2011 at 04:25 AM
It was great to be a part of the event. Steven, fantastic coverage and photos!
Marsi Walker March 21, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Santee should be proud to have such a supportive city council with excellent vision! Thank you to all our community leaders and the hard-working crew who made this all possible. It was truly awe-inspiring to watch the project unfold. I was fascinated with each step of the bridge-building process! Again, thank you Santee leaders for your dedication and support! --Marsi Shoemaker Walker
Howard Merritt March 21, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Howard Merritt Thank you Colleen and Tedi for asking us to fly our aircraft over the event. Hope all who were there enjoyed it. After landing, I came up to our Air Group One, CAF booth and helped hand out flyers for the up-coming Wings Over Gillespie Air Show. What an awesome great crowd of folks. A marvelous turn out of community and business support for a long-awaited event.
sluggo March 22, 2011 at 12:40 AM
My 5-year old daughter loved seeing the planes most of all. Thank you for the flyover, Mr. Merritt.
Howard Merritt March 22, 2011 at 03:29 AM
We pilots, for the most part, take special joy when hearing from folks that enjoy seeing us do our thing. I hope you and your daughter will always look up when hearing an airplane and enjoy the sound and sight.

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