710 gap project holds media briefing

The team of Metro staffers working on the 710 gap closure study held a briefing with members of the media this morning and stories are expected to be published in several newspapers.

As we posted on Monday, a round of 18 community meetings begins on Feb. 15 to discuss the history of the area and possible solutions to traffic caused by the gap in SR-710 between Alhambra and Pasadena. The meetings are part of the scoping process which will help define the purpose and need of the project, as well as consider some possible solutions.

Doug Failing, the executive director of Metro’s highway programs, hit on several key points about the meetings and the prospective project:

•The 710 gap is believed to impact traffic not just in the western San Gabriel Valley but as far away as the northern San Fernando Valley because traffic takes detours to avoid the gap.

•”As far as I’m concerned, everything is on the table,” Failing said. “We’re going to have a really robust scoping” process. He also emphasized that nothing has been decided in terms of what the project will be. He added that he takes seriously his responsibility under state and federal environmental law to consider all options.

•As for a possible tunnel to close the gap, Failing said that he expects some members of the public to request that a tunnel be studied. He also said that the Metro Board of Directors had requested a report from Metro staff on the possible costs of tunnels, which is now online. As Failing noted, Measure R provides $780 million for a 710 gap project, but he also reminded the media that Metro is concurrently studying public-private partnerships that could help provide funding to the 710 gap and other road and transit projects.

•Failing also said that he would like the scoping process to end in April and for the Metro Board of Directors to vote over the summer to move the project into its next study phase, an alternatives analysis to consider some of the possible projects from the scoping period. Failing said that he expects the entire environmental study process for a possible project to take about three years to complete.

On a related note, the March 5 public meeting in South Pasadena has been rescheduled for March 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at South Pasadena High School.

13 replies

  1. Build the gap ground level straight down the center of South Pasadena. This is the most inexpensive route that is in the best interest for the movement of commerce and daily commuters.

  2. Has anyone looked into trenching it wherever it runs through existing neighborhoods and capping those segments with parks? Obviously a more expensive idea… but maybe the affected cities would pitch in with bonds/taxes.

  3. “Has anyone looked into trenching it wherever it runs through existing neighborhoods and capping those segments with parks? Obviously a more expensive idea… but maybe the affected cities would pitch in with bonds/taxes.”

    So, we tear down existing houses and businesses, build a trench for cars with massive ventilation structures (to get rid of all that diesel and gas exhaust), and then build parks on top? I’m not sure why the affected cities would want to pay for that.

    I live in Long Beach, a the south end of the 710, and I just don’t see the need for extending this freeway. If you want to get to Pasadena, you can take 2 or 110. To get to Arcadia you can take the 605. There is only a 4 mile gap between the 2 and the 710, and only a 11 mile gap between 710 and 605 (along 210). At most, a 710 tunnel would save 5 or 10 minutes of driving for a few trips.

    So I think this project would really be a way to avoid taking 5 or 10 near Downtown LA. It would mainly benefit trucks coming up 710 that wanted to go east (and could then take 210 instead of 10), or north up 5 (taking 710 to 210 to 5, instead of going straight up 5).

    If we want to help out the truckers, let’s add more carpool lanes, and add congestion tolls to the freeways, to reduce traffic on our existing roads, instead of building a huge new tunnel or trench, which would have to be funded by tolls anyway.

  4. Of course something has to be done. Everyone in that area knows how bad traffic is at any time of day. Everyone takes Fremont Ave to get up to the 210.

    Imagine if the the entire stretch of the 405 in Long Beach was not there.

  5. I agree with Rich, I am tired of the SGV traffic, then again, traffic all over L.A. is getting worse and worse. I’ve tried thinking of ways that it can be fixed, but I really don’t see anything that’s fast to work.

  6. Forget the 710 extension. The state has been trying to complete this project for more than 50 years. Instead of wasting time and money on an extension that will never happen we should invest in expanding lightrail,subway and monorail lines .

  7. I always thought a shorter tunnel option would be from the end of the 110 to the current 210 transition area (which is already dug out for what looks like a tunnel). Then, at least, the 110 traffic would not have to drive through Pasadena as they do now – and 710 folks could take the 101 to the 110. – A short detour. And no trucks – which is good since they should be taking the long way around anyway.

  8. Dan H, the missing link will move consumer goods from the Long Beach/Los Angeles harbor to northern CA via the 710/210/5. Yes, it would be easy to build a tunnel from the 110 to the 710/210/134 interchange. However, it won’t help with the movement of goods which is very important to our economy.

  9. In terms of the movement of goods, freight rail really ought to be the focal point. Its absurd to have Semis on long haul routes when there are so many freight lines with so much potential for improvement.

  10. […] 710 gap project holds media briefing, in The Source (Metro’s online news site), February 10, quotes Metro Highway Director Doug Failing: “‘As far as I’m concerned, everything is on the table,’ Failing said. ‘We’re going to have a really robust scoping’ process. He also emphasized that nothing has been decided in terms of what the project will be. He added that he takes seriously his responsibility under state and federal environmental law to consider all options.” […]