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Public Opinion Split on I-710 Tunnel Plans in Southern California

The public comment period has ended on one of Southern California's most persistent planning controversies—a proposal to connect the I-710 Freeway between Pasadena and Alhambra. The current plan calls for a long underground tunnel.
August 25, 2015, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Caltrans has received more than 2,500 letters responding to the 710 Freeway extension project, so many that two weeks after the six-month comment period has closed, the state transportation agency is still tallying the responses," reports Steve Scauzillo.

Those in favor of digging an underground tunnel to close the 4.5-mile gap from the 10 to the 210/134 freeways live south and east of the project, while those opposed live north or within the project footprint.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, who recently announced his opposition to the tunnel option "is joined by Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale, Sierra Madre, La Cañada Flintridge, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the West Pasadena Residents Association and state Sen. Carol Liu, D-Glendale in opposing the tunnel and/or calling the EIR inadequate."

In support of the project, according to Scauzillo: "Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Montebello’s Mayor Jack Hadjinian, San Marino, La Puente, West Covina, Covina, El Monte, La Verne, Pomona, Pico Rivera, South El Monte, Diamond Bar, Temple City, Huntington Park Councilman Johnny Pineada, Lynwood, South Gate, Commerce, state Sen. Bob Huff, R-Brea; state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina; Assemblyman Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park; Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina; Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Montebello; Los Angeles Community College District Board Member Mike Eng; the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and the Florence-Firestone/Walnut Park Chamber of Commerce. Plus, the tunnel project received letters of support from numerous local union groups, including ironworkers, pipe-fitters, electrical workers and sprinkler fitters."

Scauzillo also provides details about a "Beyond the 710" alternative, which "would turn the [south] end of the freeway into a boulevard that takes cars through to Cal State Los Angeles and connects to Alhambra Avenue and Mission Road." Under this proposal calls for the north end to "[connect] streets and as many as 1,300 new residential units from 35 'new acres' of filled-in land linking West Pasadena with Old Pasadena, a vibrant shopping district."

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Published on Monday, August 24, 2015 in San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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