Two Alhambra representatives have taken opposing stands on a possible 710 Freeway tunnel in recent letters to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, La Canada Valley Sun reports.
Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-Alhambra) wrote Monday urging MTA to continue researching the tunnel option for the 710 gap closure, extending the 710 Freeway 4.5 miles from where it ends in Alhambra to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. Eng said expanding the 710 would reduce traffic both on freeways and Alhambra surface streets. He also emphasized its potential environmental impact, saying the tunnel would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in nearby residential areas 16 percent by 2035. Such a reduction would meet target levels set by the California Air Resources Board.
Another elected official representing Alhambra, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), wrote a letter last week strongly opposing the tunnel. Schiff said the tunnel’s most recent estimated cost of $5.6 billion was more than the resources likely to be available to fund the project. He also wrote that many people in the area were against the freeway connection. In addition to Alhambra, which supports the 710 extension, Schiff’s district also includes cities that oppose it such as Glendale and South Pasadena.
The MTA is engaged in a three-year environmental study of options to close the 710 gap. Proposed alternatives to the tunnel include a bus line, light-rail line, and traffic management systems that coordinate traffic lights with car flow.