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Caltrans begins work on final portion of SR 52 expansion in Santee

Caltrans is under way on the middle segment of the state Route 52 expansion, from Cuyamaca Street to Magnolia Avenue. The $40 million project started this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2010.

Currently, SR 52 runs from Interstate 5 in La Jolla and terminates at state Route 125, at the western border of Santee. The expansion, dubbed the Sunny Side Gateway Project, will construct 4 miles of a four-lane freeway running through Santee and connecting SR 125 and SR 67. It will include new roadway, bridges and interchanges at Fanita Drive, Cuyamaca Street and Magnolia Avenue.

The expansion will provide Santee residents with easier freeway access and will relieve traffic congestion along adjacent local roads. Caltrans estimates that by 2025, the segment will carry approximately 110,000 vehicles a day.

Construction on the $88.5 million western segment of SR 52 at SR 67 began in June 2008 and is set to be finished by 2010. The $76.3 million construction on the eastern portion from SR 125 to Cuyamaca Street is ongoing and is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2010.

The total cost for the Sunny Side Gateway Project is estimated at about $225 million. Funding comes from a variety of state, federal and local sources, including $133 million in transportation bonds that California voters approved and $55 million from the Sandag TransNet half-cent sales tax.

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