Regional transportation plan backs 710 tunnel extension

Regional transportation plan backs 710 tunnel extension

LOS ANGELES — Cities belonging to the 710 Coalition have come out in support of the draft 2016 regional transportation plan by the Southern California Association of Governments.

The draft calls for connecting the Long Beach (710) Freeway to the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena via a tunnel.

Coalition member cities are Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel and San Marino.

They say not closing the gap between the two freeways will result in more surface traffic on their streets.

“Tunnel opponents continue to misrepresent the truth about the actions that occurred,” Rosemead Mayor Margaret Clark said. “The public deserves to know the truth. Our coalition will not stand by and allow opponents to disseminate false information.”

The draft transportation plan continues to include the freeway extension as part of the state highway system.

In addition, the draft plan accelerates the project completion date five years from 2030 to 2025.

Caltrans reports that three of the top 10 most severe afternoon traffic bottlenecks in Los Angeles and Ventura counties are near where the 710 currently ends at Valley Boulevard on the border of Alhambra and the Los Angeles community of El Sereno.

Members of the 710 Coalition claim that if the 710 gap is not closed by a tunnel, then congestion along major traffic arteries between the 210 and 10 freeways will only get worse. Gridlock on surface streets brings major environmental and public safety risks to their communities

But an opposing coalition, Beyond the 710, says the tunnel project is too expensive and would devastate communities in its path.

Members of the Beyond the 710 Coalition include the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge, Sierra Madre and Glendale.

The final environmental impact report for the 710 North tunnel is being competed and should be released early this year