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Metro, public to assess future of 710 Freeway

Metro will meet with the public to prepare the environmental review process of the 710 Freeway. The initiative stems from the 2008 passage of Measure R, which committed an estimated $40 million for traffic relief and transportation upgrades.

Discussions will address the closure of the 4.5 mile gap in the 710 Freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. The freeway, which opened in 1965, was intended to have a junction with the 210 and 134 Freeways, but lawsuits put an end to construction. The resulting traffic has spilled onto surface streets in Alhambra and Pasadena, prompting some locals to advocate for the completion of the freeway.

The meetings will be held as "an education and public involvement program to seek both regional and community-based solutions," according to a Metro press release. There will be three series of meetings, with each one addressing a specific topic; they include "Transportation where have we been? Where are we going?," "Protecting Communities through 
an Environmental Process-CEQA/NEPA," and "Scoping: Going on the Record."

On February 16 there will be a meeting at the Alhambra Civic Center Library. Other locations include Jefferson Middle School and South Pasadena High School. A full listing of time and locations can be found through the Metro website.

Alhambra meeting: Feb.16, 6-8 p.m., Alhambra Civic Center Library, 101 S. First St., Alhambra, CA 91801

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7 thoughts on “Metro, public to assess future of 710 Freeway”

  1. A temporary improvement would construct a two-lane (each direction) limited access (only additional access at Alhambra Avenue) with no stopping/parking including a bike-way and landscaping with trees/plants from Huntington Drive to Valley Blvd., removing the (blighted and crime-ridden) housing along the Cal-Trans right-of-way. Include funding to improve the intersection at Huntington Drive/Fremont Avenue.

    1. Tomas, it sounds like you are advocating a surface route. I see very little difference between your solution and completing a surface-route freeway. Both tear through and burden residential neighborhoods.

  2. @Bill: You will need to remember that Alhambra is one of those affected communities. You make it seems like Alhambra and its residents are foreigners far removed from the 710 and without any idea of the impacts of the 710 project.

    Also, it would be helpful if you provide an example of those “low-cost alternative solutions” because some of us (me included) have not seen nor heard of any. As I understand it, a surface route would cost less than a tunnel because Caltrans already owns many of the properties (homes, businesses, and vacant land) in the path of the freeway and tunneling costs more than tearing down structures and paving a right of way. In other words, advocating the cheaper option may resurrect a surface route from the near dead.

    Speaking of which, if the tunnel option is chosen, Caltrans will be required to sell its Alhambra, El Sereno, Pasadena, and South Pasadena properties that it does not need. The devil is in the details, but there is some legislation on the topic — California Gov’t Code 54235-38. The money it makes in the sale will go toward paying for the tunnel.

  3. And just where are the BILLIONS of dollars that will have to come in part from government agencies going to come from?? Especially when federal, state, county, and city treasuries are all severely over-extended and DEEP painful cuts are being made at every level of government. And don’t believe that private funding and tolls are going to take care of all the costs because that’s simply not true. How many MILLIONS of our money has already been spent on a “solution” that is not going to solve the congestion? Stop listening to MTA and CalTrans on this and listen to the low-cost alternative solutions being advocated by the affected communities!

  4. I think the impacts on Alhambra depend largely on the toll that will be charged to use the tunnel. If the toll price is too high, people will continue to regularly follow the same routes they use today to bypass the gap.

    I attended a transportation forum that discussed the 710 gap closure a few weeks ago. All of the speakers agreed that a surface route will be eliminated, which leaves only the tunnel. In addition, the Parsons engineer responsible for the project also added that the tunnel should not be used by trucks. Freight trains and other trucking routes are better suited for freight.

  5. Connecting the 710 through to Pasadena will streamline commerce throughout the region and will ease traffic and improve road conditions here in Alhambra. My parents moved to Monterey Park in 1969 believing they’d see it finished. I’d like to see it finished in my lifetime.

  6. Extending the 710 to the 210 and 134 is the right thing to do. The Alhambra community is suffering gridlock traffic as a result of “not in my backyard” legal and political wrangling. Even after offering to put the freeway under ground, there continues to be staunch opposition. It’s time to do what’s right and link our freeway system- it is the best course of action for our region, the economy, and jobs.