California 252 was the proposed Southcrest (El Toyon) Freeway nixed in 1980. This freeway was planned to run from the Interstate 5 / California 15 interchange complex southeast to Interstate 805 at Exit 11A for 43rd Street. The towering flyovers at the three-wye interchange joining I-805 with 43rd Street were constructed in anticipation of this planned freeway. Additionally several widened bridges and ramps at the exchange joining I-15 with California 15 were slated for the unconstructed freeway east through the Southcrest community. A redevelopment project between 1994 and 1996 resulted in retail plaza at the terminus of the off-ramp west of 43rd Street. The swath of abandoned right-of-way west parallel to Alpha Street was eventually sold off, with development filling in most of the cleared land between 1996 and 2006.
California 252 was planned to handle an average of 90,000 vehicles per day. With the Southeast Freeway canceled, commuters from the communities of Eastlake, Bonita and Paradise Hills instead must use either California 54 or California 94 to make drive to Downtown without using urban streets. The result was increased traffic flow on both Interstates 5 and 805. The 43rd Street ramps from Interstate 805 were built around 1974-75, long before the rest of the California 252 project would have been started. When work finally got underway for the remainder of the route, community opposition gathered steam. Along with I-805, the El Toyon Freeway was supposed to act as the north end of an Interstate 5 bypass around National City and Chula Vista. Since the area already had several freeways, the community felt that it was being divided. There was an alternate plan of a surface street called Martin Luther King Blvd, and also talk of tunneling. But in the end Caltrans relented and canceled the project. The remaining high speed ramps for 43rd Street are sometimes referred as the "Ramps to Nowhere".
Page Updated 06-26-2018.