Routes 466 through 740
Click here for a key to the symbols used. "LRN" refers to the Pre-1964 Legislative Route Number. "US" refers to a US Shield signed route. "I" refers to an Eisenhower Interstate signed route. "Route" usually indicates a state shield signed route, but said route may be signed as US or I. Previous Federal Aid (pre-1992) categories: Federal Aid Interstate (FAI); Federal Aid Primary (FAP); Federal Aid Urban (FAU); and Federal Aid Secondary (FAS). Current Functional Classifications (used for aid purposes): Principal Arterial (PA); Minor Arterial (MA); Collector (Col); Rural Minor Collector/Local Road (RMC/LR). Note that ISTEA repealed the previous Federal-Aid System, effective in 1992, and established the functional classification system for all public roads.
466 · 480 · 505 · 580 · 605 · 680 · 710 · 740
No current routing.
Until July 1, 1964, the following route was signed as US 466:
Additionally, LRN 141 was the planned rerouting for US 466 to bypass downtown Bakersfield (back when LRN 4/US 99 (and US 399) was on the Route 204/Business Route 99 alignment) back in 1933; this rerouting only occured in the 1960s however with the construction of the freeways which are now Route 58 and Route 58/Route 99 (explaining why the definition of the route is from LRN 4 to LRN 4: from Brundage at Route 204 to the current Route 99/Route 58/Route 178 interchange at Rosedale Highway/24th Street, where Oak Street ends). Looking at the bridge log, the Route 204/Business Route 99 (former LRN 4) freeway in downtown Bakersfield between LRN 141's two termini (current Route 58 and Route 99) was built in stages: the first section, the Union Avenue Y, was finished in 1957, followed by the Truxtun Avenue crossing in 1959. Most of the section north of L Street and the Chester Avenue traffic circle was also built in 1957; so the construction of the LRN 141 (99/58) freeways occured only once CalTrans decided that the old downtown bypass was more suitable for the through routes. The interchanges connecting Business Route 99 with Route 99 were built in 1962 and 1963, as part of the Bakersfield bypass. Thus by 1964, former LRN 141 had been upgraded to freeway between Brundage Lane and Rosedale Highway; however, the portion from Union Avenue (Route 204/Business Route 99) west to Route 99 would not be built until 1976, at which point Route 58 was moved off of former US 466/LRN 58 (Edison Highway) and onto the new freeway, which is part of the Bakersfield-Tehachapi Highway.
One contributor (Rebecca K.) opined that Twenty-Mule Team Road may be a former routing of US 466 through Boron. This is also the claim of AARoads. I am currently looking for a map to confirm.
This route was signed in 1934.
No current routing.
In 1963, Route 480 was defined as "Route 80 at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge approach in San Francisco to the junction of Route 280, Funston approach, and the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge in the Presidio of San Francisco passing near the intersection of Lombard Street and Van Ness Avenue."
In 1968, Chapter 282 transferred the portion from Route 80 to Route 280
near Harrison Street to Route 280:
In 1991, SB 181, Chapter 498 deleted the remainder of Route 480, from Route 280 near Harrison Street in San Francisco to the junction of Route 1, Funston approach, and the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. The portion from Marina Boulevard to the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge was transferred to Route 101. The last signs for the route were removed in 1997.
Why did these changes occur? In 1955, it was planned to have the US 101/I-480 interchange (and co-signing) begin approximately at the Lombard/Van Ness junction (where the Embarcadero and Central Freeways would have intersected)this is illustrated in the 1955 Trafficways Map. By 1965, there was a new plan (which was reflected in the 1968 changes) to have a Central Freeway crosstown tunnel from Turk Street to Richardson Avenue, resulting in a much shorter multiplex of Route 480 and US 101 on Doyle Drive onlyas illustrated in this 1965 Caltrans Map. This is why it was Route 480 (not US 101) on Doyle Drive (for US 101 exited on Richardson and presumably to the crosstown tunnel).
This route was intended to provide a freeway connection between the Golden Gate and Bay bridges in San Francisco. It was a double-deck roadway design. The 1989 Loma Prieta quake condemned it, and it was later demolished. The route was never liked, and it was doomed in January 1959 when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Resolution 45-59 passed, which indicated opposition to certain freeway routes. Route 480 is one of the freeways opposed by the city; and was never included in the California Freeway and Expressway System, although it was a part of the Interstate system.
The Embarcadero Freeway (Route 480) ran north along the waterfront for nearly a mile, two thick lines of concrete 70 feet high and 52 feet wide. It started at Folsom Street and ended bluntly at Broadway, running right in front of the historic Ferry Building. The freeway was designed to make a turn inland and head west past Aquatic Park, all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The history of the route is fascinating; read the planning studies in the LINKS section for details. There were some plans to build it as a tube in the bay, or as a very narrow depressed highway, where there was little or no clearance to construct the road.
In 1998, there were brief plans to rebuild the Embacadero Freeway as a brief cut and cover tunnel. The proposal was to only extend to roughtly the point of where the elvated freeway structure was truncated.
Some folks claim to have seen maps where I-480 looped around San Francisco after the Golden Gate Bridge, running S as the Park Presidio and Junipero Serra Freeways. This is unlikely. It is more likely that those freeways were to have been signed as part of Route 1. Note: According to Caltrans, Park-Presidio Boulevard possesses all the attributes of a freeway and was the first such thoroughfare in northern California. It was built through the Presidio of San Francisco as an approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Route 480 was LRN 224, defined in 1947.
Although the route no longer exists, the CalTrans bridge log indicates that the route is signed as US 101 between post mile 2.85 and post 5.48. The Fremont St. exit off I-80 W is the former CA 480 exit. There is also a sealed-off CA 480 exit off of I-80 E.
As for what happened to what remains of the old Route 480... it is
becoming a farm. Specifically, at the old on/off ramp near Laguna Street in
early 2010, a number of urban farmers spread steaming piles of mulch over the
edge of the ramps formerly used by cars to enter and exit the elevated Central
Freeway spur above Octavia Street, arranging the soil in rows for planting
vegetables and filler crops. This has formed the "Hayes Valley Farm".
"Golden Gate" Freeway, Embarcadero Freeway.
Route 480 was approved as chargeable interstate sometime pre-1965; it was deleted as a chargeable route in August 1965 (hence, its signage after that date with a state shield (Route 480), as opposed to an interstate shield). The old Route 480 was demolished between 1991 and 1993.
[SHC 263.1] Originally, the entire route. Since deleted.
This was part of I-5W, which started at I-5/I-580 south of Stockton, followed I-580 to I-80 in Oakland, paired with I-80 east until I-505, and then reunited with I-5 where I-505 does now. I-580 and I-505 were signed with their current numbers around 1964 (although they were submitted and approved by AASHTO in 1947). Note that a 1968 map shows no freeway for I-505.
In 1963, Route 505 was defined as Route 80 near Vacaville to Route 5 near Dunnigan, and it retains its 1963 definition. Before 1972, it was signed as Temporary I-505, and was a two lane road between Vacaville to Dunnigan. The freeway was constructed in sections: the first one between Route 16 and Route 128; the next from I-5 to Route 16; and the final from Route 16 to I-80. The freeway was completed by 1978. Additionally, before 1972, there was actually two sections of constructed freeway: A 2 mile section at the junction of Route 128, and a 1 mile section at Route 16. At this time, the route was unsigned but had freeway status. I-505 freeway was finished in 1977.
This route was LRN 90, defined in 1933. It appears to have been unsigned before 1964.
In April 2007, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the county of Yolo, at County Road 24, consisting of reconstructed and relocated county roads and frontage roads.
The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures for this route:
The interchange of I-80 and I-505 in the County of Solano is named the "Lieutenant Colonel James C. Warren Memorial Interchange". It was named in memory of Lieutenant Colonel James C. Warren, who was born in August 1923 into the racially segregated community of Gurly, Alabama.Warren left the region at the age of 15 years, when his mother sent him to Island Park, Illinois, where he attended high school. Enlisting in 1943 to preflight with the Tuskegee Airmen, the all black United States Army Air Force unit that distinguished itself in combat during World War II, Lieutenant Colonel Warren was assigned to Indiana’s Freeman Field, where, after being eliminated from pilot training, he completed navigator training, through which he qualified as both a navigator and a bombardier. Lieutenant Colonel Warren was one of the 101 black officers at Freeman Field in 1945 who were arrested and charged with mutiny because they refused to comply with base regulations excluding black officers from a base officers’ club. The service records of Lieutenant Colonel Warren and the other 100 officers were cleared by the Air Force in 1995, an action that was announced that year during a convention of the Tuskegee Airmen. After serving with the 477th Bombardment Group of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lieutenant Colonel Warren spent 35 years with the United States Air Force, for which he flew 173 combat missions in Korea and Vietnam, earning such esteemed commendations and decorations as the Congressional Gold Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal, among numerous others. A University of Nebraska graduate who ultimately became the oldest individual to earn a pilot’s license at the age of 87 years, Lieutenant Colonel Warren distinguished himself through his community leadership and participation in the Nut Tree Airport’s Young Eagles program, as well as his membership with the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Foundation, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 24, Res. Chapter 108, Statutes of 2015, on July 16, 2015.
Approved as chargeable Interstate on 7/7/1947; Freeway. In August 1957, this was tentatively approved as I-5W. In November 1957, the designation I-7 was proposed as part of the first attempt to give urban routes numbers (there were no 3-digit routes at the time). In April 1958, it was proposed to be designated I-115 as part of the first attempts to assign 3-digit numbers. It was finally approved as I-5W, and later renumbered as I-505.
[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.
Overall statistics for Route 505:
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.
Overall statistics for Route 580:
Commuter lanes are under construction on this route between Telegraph Road and I-10. They are scheduled to open in April 1998.
Lanes are planned between the Los Angeles/Orange County line and South Street; construction starts in 1999. That date, however, was optimistic. In June 2002, there was a STIP proposal on the CTC agenda for constructing HOV lanes from Route 405 to the Los Angeles County line. This also shows on the regional transportation improvement plan.
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
Approved as chargeable Interstate from Route 405 to Route 10 on 9/15/1955; the Route 10 to Route 210 portion was approved as chargeable in December 1968 as a result of the December 1968 Federal Aid Highway Act.
In November 1957, the California Department of Highways proposed this as I-13. When that was rejected for an urban route, the department tried it as a 3 digit interstate, I-105. This was before the numbering conventions were established, and sequential 3dis were being used. That number was also rejected. In August 1958, the department proposed I-605, which was accepted.
[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.
Overall statistics for I-605:
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
* Note: PM 0.51 is not the same thing as PM R0.50
The portion of this route from the Alameda county line to the Benicia-Martinez Bridge was designated as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway" by Senate Concurrent Resolution 38, Ch. 175 in 1970.
[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.
Overall statistics for Route 680:
The route also includes that portion of the freeway between Route 1 and the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive, that portion of Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Boulevard, that portion of Ocean Boulevard west of its intersection with Harbor Scenic Drive to its junction with Seaside Boulevard, and that portion of Seaside Boulevard from the junction with Ocean Boulevard to Route 47.
Until July 1, 1964, this routing was signed as Route 15. When the Route 15 signage had to be applied to the new Interstate that had previously been US 91 (between I-10 and Las Vegas), the routing was renumbered as Route 7:
In 1963, Route 7 was defined as "from Route 11 [Present-Day Route 110] in San Pedro to Route 210 in Pasadena via Long Beach and including a bridge, with at least four lanes, from San Pedro at or near Boschke Slough to Terminal Island." In 1965 the southern end was truncated by Chapter 1372, transferring the San Pedro portion and bridge to Route 47. This left the route definition as "from Route 1 to Route 210 in Pasadena." In 1982, Chapter 914 extended the definition to include that portion of the freeway between Route 1 and the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive, that portion of Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Boulevard, that portion of Ocean Boulevard west of its intersection with Harbor Scenic Drive to its junction with Seaside Boulevard, and that portion of Seaside Boulevard from the junction with Ocean Boulevard to Route 47. It was noted that this extension didn't become operative unless the commission approves a financial plan.
In 1984, Chapter 409 defined Route 710 as "Route 1 to Route 210 in Pasadena." The additional conditions regarding the Harbor Scenic Drive and the financial conditions were also transferred. This reflected the approval of Route 7 as 139(a) non-chargable interstate for continuity of numbering with Route 10 (I-10), off of which it spurs. [One might argue that it could have been considered a loop route around the center of the city, and as such, would more appropriately have an (even digit)05 number. However, all of the (even-digit)05 numbers are in use: I-205 (Sacramento), I-405 (Los Angeles), I-605 (Los Angeles), I-805 (San Diego).
The legislative description of Route 710 includes a portion between Route 1 and the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive, a portion of Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Blvd, a portion of Ocean Blvd west of its intersection with Harbor Scenic Drive to its junction with Seaside Blvd, and a portion of Seaside Blvd from the junction with Ocean Blvd to Route 47. This will apparently be signed as part of the route after planned port-related improvements by the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The segment from Ocean Blvd to Route 1 is non-chargeable 139(b) milage.
Note that the south end of I-710 actually follows the west riverbank, not the east riverbank (into downtown Long Beach). Caltrans only maintains the east riverbank spur until the 9th Street exit; the City of Long Beach has control of the road (Shoreline Drive) past this point. Route 710 is supposed to follow the Long Beach Freeway down to the Harbor Scenic Drive cutoff south of Anaheim Street, and then follow Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Blvd and then follow Ocean Blvd from Harbor Scenic Drive across the Gerald Desmond Bridge to the junction of Ocean and Seaside Blvds with the Terminal Island Freeway. According to Caltrans, once the replacement for the Gerald Desmond bridge is completed, Ocean Boulevard will be the westward extension of Route 710 to the Terminal Island Freeway (Route 47). Ocean Boulevard is currently operated by the City of Long Beach. After the bridge is completed, it and the segment of Ocean Boulevard between Route 47 and Route 710 will be adopted into the State Highway System and the roadway transferred to Caltrans. The southern extension (towards the Queen Mary) is Harbor Scenic Drive.
[In fact, the state did not construct the portion of I-710 S of Route 1. That portion was constructed to freeway standards by the City of Long Beach. The construction cost was $12 million.]
The route is unconstructed and unsigned between Columbia St and I-210 in Pasadena, although there is a stub of Route 710 (not Interstate) at the Route 134/I-210 junction. There has been intense local opposition to completion of this freeway as it would have a potentially adverse impact on historic homes in Pasadena and South Pasadena. On the other hand, it is a critical link in the overall Southern California freeway system. The traversable route is... oh hell, just read the mishegas below.
The first mention of the extension of the route to Pasadena is in 1961, when CHPW notes that the extension was defined by SB 480, and Advance Planning was starting to determine potential routes. In 1964, it was reported that planning was underway for the Long Beach Freeway (Route 7, now Route 710) from the Foothill Freeway, Route 134 and Long Beach Freeway Interchange to Norwich Avenue. On June 3-4 1964, a routing was adopted for I-210, Route 134, and Route 710 (then Route 7). This routing extends the Long Beach Freeway four mi N-ly to Route 134, and then extends I-210 N-ly to Sunland. It also extends Route 2 to I-210. Starting at Huntington Drive, the route proceeds N-ly to connect with Route 134/I-210, swings W-ly just S of Devils Gate Dam and proceeding generally S of Foothill Blvd through the Verdugo Mtns and across Big Tujunga Wash to Wheatland Ave. Also noticable on the map is the inclusion of Route 159 (old Figueroa Blvd, and the connection on Linda Vista between Route 134 and I-210), Route 248 (which was the surface street routing of Colorado between Route 134 and I-210 near Monrovia), and Route 212 (which is the old Valley Blvd routing of US 60, former LRN 77). The legislative definitions were later amended to note that Route 159 and Route 248 ceased to be state highways after I-210 was completed. Note how this also still shows Route 118 in the area; that was later renumbered to Route 210.
Streetsblog-LA has a nice timeline of the Route 710 project:
Mike Ballard has a page with pictures of the Route 710 gap and stubs.
In 2013, Chapter 525 (SB 788, 10/9/13) deleted the words in the route definition about a financial plan:
(b) Subdivision (a) shall not become operative, and this section shall be repealed on January 1, 1985, unless the commission approves, not later than December 31, 1984, a financial plan, which is submitted to them by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission not later than January 1, 1984.
(c) The financial plan shall be prepared in cooperation with the department and shall include, but not be limited to, a cost estimate and the source of funding to make the route changes in subdivision (a) and any proposed improvements.
The following freeway-to-freeway connections were never constructed:
This was formerly signed as Route 15, and was LRN 167, defined in 1933. Until the construction of the freeway, Route 15 ran between Pacific Coast Highway and US 99 along Atlantic Blvd. In 1964, the freeway routing was renumbered as Route 7, and was later renumbered as Route 710 and I-710.
According to KCET, Route 710 can be traced back to the "Great Free-Harbor
Fight" of the 1890s, where Los Angeles City officials helped solidify the port
in San Pedro by annexing a sixteen-mile "shoestring district" that made the
harbor a legal part of the city. Los Angeles also spent $10 million on harbor
improvements, and proposed the construction of a truck highway for developing
the port. Although millions of dollars were poured into the port's
infrastructure by the early 1940s, not much was done to facilitate any port
highway. Before state planners (responsible for designing state freeways) could
map out a freeway from the ports to the Los Angeles metropolis, harbor interest
had already begun making preliminary maps as early as 1921; though nothing
materialized. Despite a 1939 California Freeway Law that gave "the state broad
powers of land acquisition for the construction [and financing] of freeways,"
it was the City of Long Beach that took it upon themselves to plan, construct,
and finance the port highway, to be called the Los Angeles River Freeway
because it hugged the natural waterways that were once the lifeblood of the
founding families. So, Route 710 is essentially the child of the City of Long
Beach, superseding legal precedents that had placed the state of California,
not local governments, as the principal investors and designers of state
freeways (note that Route 710 was originally just a state route: initially
Route 15, and then later renumbered as Route 7 in 1964. It was eventually
renumbered as non-chargable I-710).
An August 1941 report issued by the Regional Planning Commission of Los
Angeles County entitled “A Report on the Feasibility of a Freeway
Along the Channel of the Los Angeles River” proposed a four-lane
roadway on each levee from Anaheim Street in Long Beach north to Sepulveda
Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley; excepting between Soto Street and Dayton
Street in downtown Los Angeles, where, due to a lack of right-of-way along the
river, the alignment matches the future alignment of the US 101 portion of the
Santa Ana Freeway. There is no mention in the report of a master plan of
freeways like that issued in 1947, although the maps showed connections to the
already-completed Arroyo Seco Parkway and the proposed Ramona and Rio Hondo
In the 1930s and 1940s, before the route was adopted as a freeway routing, the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles knew the route was coming, and began preserving right of way along the Los Angeles River for the future route. This saved significant money for right of way acquisition.
By 1949, Long Beach had already invested $1,000,000 on
the freeway, and the city's Chamber of Commerce made reoccurring appeals to the
California State Highway Commission for continued support. This unorthodox
practice of an independent agency developing their own freeway was not
unnoticed by the California Division of Highways, the precursor to Caltrans.
"The southerly extension of the Los Angeles River Freeway," as noted in their
bi-monthly publication California Highway and Public Works, "requires special
mention because the construction work now in progress by the City of Long Beach
is the only instance since World War II of another governmental agency carrying
out the construction and financing of a complete unit on the Los Angeles
Metropolitan Freeway System." Several years before the Los Angeles River
Freeway was legislated into the California State Highway System in 1947, Long
Beach planners received general counsel from the Los Angeles County Regional
Planning Commission, but were largely free from state interference when
designing the freeway. Long Beach Harbor authorities even financed a "major
portion" of the freeway, in what the state acknowledged was a "staggering"
amount, a figure that reached approximately $12 million by 1953, according to a
the Division of Highways. Essentially, the freeway was constructed to serve
business generated by the harbor and local industry; commuter vehicular traffic
was secondary, at best. Any negative impact to communities during or after the
construction of the freeway was seen as all but non-existent. Segments of Route
710 eventually connected with I-5, in the heart of the manufacturing district
in East Los Angeles, by the 1960s. This district housed extensive intermodal
railyards from the Union Pacific, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
Railroad. As such, some of the early freeway construction of Route 710 required
multiple bridges over eighteen railroad tracks, requiring 1,100 parcels of real
estate. Route 710 cut through established communities, such as East Los Angeles
and City of Commerce, that already housed dozen of freeway lane miles. In East
Los Angeles, nearly 11,000 residents were displaced due to freeway construction
and widenings, consuming some 7% of total land area.
The route was originally to be named the "Los Angeles River Freeway"; in 1952, the LA Board of Supervisors approved renaming it the Long Beach Freeway.
In June 2015, it was reported that, in its latest analysis of California
Highway Patrol data from 2012, the Southern California Associations of
Governments (SCAG) included sections of this route in its list of freeway
sections in L.A. County and the Inland Empire with the highest concentrations
of truck crashes per mile annually. These sections were I-710 at Route 60 in
the East L.A. Interchange, with 7.2 accidents; I-710 between I-105 and the
Route 91, with 5.8 accidents; the convergence of Route 60 and Route 57, with
six crashes; and I-5 between I-710 and I-10, also in the East L.A. Interchange,
with 6.6 crashes. The analysis also identified that the second-highest number
of truck crashes can be found on three parts of Route 60 between I-605 and
I-710, between the I-15 and Route 71 — the Chino Valley Highway, formerly
known as the Corona Expressway — and immediately east of I-215. That
category also includes I-10 between Route 71 and I-215, I-605 between Route 60
and I-10, and Route 710 between Route 91 and the Port of Long Beach as well as
between I-5 and I-105. With the nation's largest combined harbor, the Los
Angeles area also is one of the busiest in the country, if not the world, for
trucking. I-710 often handles more than 43,000 daily truck trips, Route 60 up
to 27,000 and I-5 about 21,500, according to Caltrans. In June 2015, it was
also reported that Caltrans and Metro are studying elevated truck lanes for
I-710 or rearranging lanes so trucks have a bypass lane.
Gerald Desmond Bridge
The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, authorized $2,400,000 for High Priority Project #266: Reconstruct the southern terminus off ramps of I-710 in Long Beach. This was noted in the Long Beach Press Telegraph, and actually disappointed Long Beach. The disappointment arose because the bill did not provide funding for a multi-billion project to rebuild the Long Beach Freeway. The city lobbied for $395 million and got nothing. Another $3.2 million was awarded to widen and realign Cherry Avenue from 19th Street to one block south of Pacific Coast Highway. There was $4.8 million set aside for freight transportation management systems, part of $1.3 billion dedicated to freight movement in the state in the new bill. Lastly, there was $100 million to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
Near Route 710, although not on Route 710, is the Gerald Desmond Bridge"*. In August 2005, the SAFETEA-LEU act provided $100 million in funding to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge. [*: That is, the original bridge. The replacement bridge was adopted into the highway system in November 2010.
In February 2010, it was reported that Port of Long Beach officials want to tear down the bridge and replace it with one that is taller and wider to accommodate the biggest cargo ships. Currently, the bridge is so low that some container vessels barely fit under the bridge. Additional problems are the bridge's strategic location as a primary link between Terminal Island cargo facilities and Long Beach (officials at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports estimate that the bridge carries 15% of all the nation's cargo that moves by sea). The bridge only has five traffic lanes, a walkway on one side, and no shoulders or emergency lanes. Any accident involving vehicles that can't be driven off can shut down one side or the other, diverting traffic onto adjacent streets that are easily jammed.
For years, there was no bridge at all, just a ferry. In 1944, the U.S. Navy erected a pontoon bridge that was supposed to be used for only six months. Instead, the pontoon bridge was in place for 24 years, sometimes with disastrous results. Some motorists, approaching it too fast, became airborne, landed in the water and drowned in their cars. In 1968, the Gerald Desmond Bridge was built, but planners expected only modest traffic -- mostly people going to and from the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on Terminal Island. But by the 1990s, the shipyards were closed and the fishing industry had all but disappeared. Long Beach then emerged as the nation's busiest container port, until 2001, when it was eclipsed by the neighboring port of Los Angeles. Due to the constant pounding of heavy trucks and commuter traffic, its Caltrans structural "sufficiency" rating is only 43 out of a possible 100 points as of August 2007, and the bridge wears nylon mesh "diapers" to catch chunks of concrete falling from its deck.
The plans for the new bridge would add a sixth traffic lane and two
emergency lanes and would clear the water by 200', an increase from 165'. Rep.
Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) has used her membership on the House Committee
on Transportation and Infrastructure to push for more than $375 million in
federal funds for the project.
In late September 2010, the Long Beach City Council approved the $1.1billion port plan to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, clearing the way for Long Beach's largest public-works project in decades. Construction was expected to begin sometime in 2011 and take 5 to 6 years. The replacement bridge includes emergency shoulders in each direction, and it expands from four to six the total number of lanes. It will rise more than 50 feet higher than the existing span. The replacement will be constructed just several feet from the existing span, which will remain open throughout construction. The old bridge will then be taken down during a yearlong deconstruction starting in 2015. The bridge replacement project is expected to support about 4,000 jobs annually through 2016. Officials say it could last as long as 100 years, though strict maintenance will be needed to ensure a long life. The cost of the new bridge is estimated at $950 million. Of that, roughly $500 million will come from state highway transportation funds, $300 million from federal sources, $114 million from the Port of Long Beach and $28 million from Los Angeles County Metro.
In September 2010, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding and route adoption a project that will replace the existing Gerald Desmond Bridge with a new structurally sound bridge linking Terminal Island and Long Beach/Route 710; provide sufficient roadway capacity to handle current and projected vehicular traffic volume demand; and provide sufficient vertical clearance for safe navigation through the Back Channel to the Inner Harbor. The replacement bridge will be constructed just north of the existing bridge in order to maintain access between Terminal Island and the Route 710 during construction. As part of the project, existing connections to the Route 710 interchange, and Ocean Boulevard in downtown Long Beach would be replaced, as would the connector ramps between Route 710 and the bridge. A new hook ramp or loop ramp would be used to replace the existing on-ramp between Pico Avenue and the WB Gerald Desmond Bridge. The current ramp between Pico Avenue would be partially reconstructed to join the new connectors from Route 710. As part of the Project, the bridge and Ocean Boulevard would become part of Route 710 and would operate as a freeway facility with controlled access. The improvements between the existing Route 710 and Route 47, including the bridge, would be transferred to Caltrans by easement following route adoption and execution of a freeway agreement. It is estimated that the transfer would be completed within 2 years after construction. The project is programmed with TCIF and SHOPP funds. At the time of programming, the project was estimated to cost $1,125,200,000 and was programmed with Federal ($318,000,000), TCIF/SHOPP ($250,000,000), Local ($17,300,000), POLB ($375,100,000) and Port Intermodal Cargo Fees ($164,800,000). However, according to the POLB, the most recent cost estimate, developed in January 2010, resulted in a reduced project cost of $950,000,000. The new estimate reflects recent cost reductions related to the redesign of some elements, as well as current market conditions. Once a funding plan is approved for the project by the POLB, the POLB will request an amendment to the TCIF baseline agreement to reflect the approved funding plan. The POLB, in coordination with Caltrans, is currently developing a funding plan based on a design-build delivery method pursuant to Senate Bill 4, Second Extraordinary Session. The POLB intends to request design-build approval at a future Commission meeting. The project is estimated to begin construction in FY 2012/13.
In December 2011, it was reported that the Final Environmental Impact Report
for the new Gerald Desmond Bridge includes a bicycle and pedestrian walkway.
The proposed bike and pedestrian path is one of two revisions to the draft EIR
(the other includes sound mitigation measures for pile driving and drilling
during construction). The EIR includes the following description of the bike
path: “A single, continuous, non-motorized Class I bikeway (bike path)
connecting Route 47 to Pico Avenue. The Class I bikeway shall be a minimum of
12 feet wide, and signed and striped for two-way movement. The Class I bikeway
shall be located along the south side of the main span and approach bridges,
and shall be essentially the same elevation as the bridge deck. Protective
railings shall be of an open design that provides and protects public views
from the bridge.” The proposed bike path does not connect to the LA River
trail, which, in turn, connects to Downtown LA, although port planners have
already begun to look for ways to make the connection. At one point,
construction on the new bridge was expected to begin in 2011, but as it turns
out, an RFP for a design-build of the new bridge was sent to four pre-qualified
bidders earlier this fall. The bids are expected in February, with final
contractor selection in March. Design will take 12 to 18 months, and the bridge
is scheduled to open in March 2016.
In May 2012, it was reported that a joint venture team is the "best value" bidder with a $649.5 million proposal to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge. Major members of the joint venture team include Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., Arup North America Ltd. and Biggs Cardosa Associates Inc. A decision by the board on the actual award of the contract is expected in late June, with construction to kick off in early 2013. The total cost of the overall bridge replacement project is estimated at about $1 billion.
In September 2012, the CTC updated the project schedule to reflect switching from Design-Bid-Build to Design Build delivery method. In addition, contract negotiations with the winning bidder added time to the schedule, as well as extensive utility relocations, and revalidation of the environmental documents caused by the addition of a Class 1 bicycle path to the project. The new schedule shows construction completion in June 2016 (6 months earlier), with closeout completed in September 2016.
In October 2012, the CTC approved $153,657,000 for bridge construction.
In January 2013, it was reported that ground was broken on the Gerald Desmond Bridge construction. The $1 billion project will replace the aging span with a new structure that will have towers reaching 500 feet above ground level, additional traffic lanes, a higher clearance to accommodate the new generation of cargo ships, dedicated bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways, including scenic overlooks 200 feet above the water, according to the port. The development is expected to create about 3,000 jobs a year between 2013 and 2016, and generate $2billion of regional economic activity, port officials say.
In October 2013, it was reported that crews started clearing the path for a
new Gerald Desmond Bridge encountered a mishmash of old and active oil wells
tangled with 10 miles of utility lines beneath the surface, many of them
unmapped or deeper than expected. The effort to cap and relocate the dozens of
wells and lines turned into months of labor intensive work to clear the way for
large steel-and-concrete piles as deep as an 18-story building. This raised the
bridge's budget by over $200 million. It’s part of the challenge of
building on one of the largest oil fields in the continental United States.
Stretching 13 miles long and 3 miles deep, the Wilmington Oil Field sprouted
with more than 6,000 oil wells in the 1930s, when oil was discovered beneath
the port and the city. The work has included removing the old casings one
section at a time while shoring up the soil so it doesn’t collapse on the
work crews are doing; handling pipes as deep as 50 feet and injecting liquid
nitrogen into the soil to keep water from flowing into a trench for a utility
line relocation; and filling a 10-foot tall and wide tunnel found near one of
the new bridge’s foundations that once flowed with sea water to cool a
nearby power plant. Completion of the bridge is expected in 2016.
In November 2013, it was reported that the new bridge (not necessarily named
the Gerald Desmond) will be held upright by an extensive network of more than
300 steel and concrete support piles, built into the ground as deep as an
18-story building. To make room, port officials have directed a two-year blitz
to remove or cap dozens of oil wells and dig up miles of utility lines that lie
beneath the bridge's footprint. The work involves removing oil well casings as
deep as 200 feet, section by section. Engineers designed custom tools to cut
the steel pipes from inside and out, all while operating within a
7-foot-diameter drum to stabilize the surrounding soil. Once the casings are
removed, the void is filled with a soil-like mixture of sand and mud. Further
complicating the operation is that parts of the area sank as much as 30 feet in
the 1940s and 1950s, the result of a boom on one of the nation's largest oil
fields. Years later, soil was spread over the sunken landscape and new utility
lines crisscrossed those buried under the new fill. Many of them were
identified only with rough maps that pre-dated the precision of GPS, meaning
crews had to employ guesswork when navigating the maze of pipes, tunnels and
In June 2014, it was reported that the massive $1.26 billion project to
replace the ailing Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach will be delayed at least
a year, pushing back the opening and completion from the end of 2016, to late
2017 or early 2018. The delay has been attributed to design issues, including
delays in obtaining approval for designs from Caltrans officials, who have the
ultimate authority over plans. The operation has already been plagued with
complications and cost overruns from a maze of poorly mapped underground
utility lines and oil wells on Terminal Island.
In October 2016, the CTC authorized an additional $57,166,000 in State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) funds for this project: $24,206,000 in additional funds for construction support and $32,960,000 for construction capital. This project will replace the Port of Long Beach owned Gerald Desmond Bridge with a new cable-stayed bridge that will be incorporated into the State Highway System when completed. The existing bridge accommodates approximately 10 percent of all U.S. waterborne container volume, via the trucking of containers between the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the inland warehousing, transloading and distribution centers. This bridge is vital to the Southern California and State economies and it is a nationally important transportation asset. As the future owner-operator of the new bridge, the Department has critical interest and compelling responsibility to ensure that the new bridge is designed and constructed to be durable, resilient and able to withstand seismic events. The overall project cost for the Port’s project has increased over 50 percent from $950 million in 2010 to approximately $1.5 billion today. The Department’s $57,166,000 increase is approximately 10 percent of the total cost increase of $541,901,000 ($1,491,901,000 - $950,000,000). In early 2013, the Department had concerns with the design-builder’s proposed design with regards to long-term durability and potential for failure of the hollow towers supporting the main span during a seismic event. It is a well-established design practice on highway bridges to limit the permanent axial load ratio to no more than 15 percent to achieve seismic design criteria ductility requirements. Caltrans seismic standards, and the primary national seismic standards and guidance are based on laboratory testing consistent with axial loads in this range. The design-builder’s proposed tower cross-section design resulted in axial load ratio ranges from 24 percent to 34 percent. An in-depth review of hollow column research and details of other California bridges supported on hollow towers confirmed that the proposed axial load range and column aspect ratios were unprecedented in the tower design and were based upon mathematical models that had not been validated through any known seismic testing. After consultation with internationally recognized seismic research experts and independent evaluations and analysis by Caltrans in-house experts and the Port’s consulting engineer, the recommendation to redesign the tower was presented to the Caltrans Directorate. After lengthy internal discussions, involving the State Bridge Engineer, the Chief Engineer, the Director, consult with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), as well as discussions between the Department, the Port and the design-builder, both partners finally agreed to require the design-builder to redesign the tower with a lower axial load ratio with an acceptable level of ductility to ensure seismic safety and the long term structural integrity of the bridge. The Department estimates the tower redesign cost at $63,293,000, and hired an independent estimator to validate this number. The Department’s initial contribution of $500,000,000 was 52.07 percent of the original project budget of $950,000,000. Using the original State contribution percentage, the Department is requesting 52.07 percent cost share of $63,293,000, totaling $32,960,000 in additional SHOPP funding for construction capital. This project was originally scheduled to open for use in under 4 years, meaning it would be open for traffic by now under the original schedule. Challenges encountered during the design and construction delayed the bridge completion. The design-builder’s current schedule for completion has been delayed two-and-one-half years, with further delays possible. The lengthiest schedule delays are due to the Bent 15 Foundation (the structure that anchors the cable) redesign due to differing site condition and the tower redesign.
Route 710 Other Long Beach
The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, authorized $1,600,000 for High Priority Project #701: Develop and implement traffic calming measures for traffic exiting I-710 into Long Beach.
710 Corridor Mobility Improvements
The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, authorized $12,400,000 for High Priority Project #2178: Alameda Corridor East Gateway to America Trade Corridor Project, Highway-Railgrade separation along 35 mile corridor from Alameda Corridor (Hobart Junction) to Los Angeles/San Bernardino County Line.
Studies are currently ongoing (see the Gateway Council of Governments, http://www.gatewaycog.org/) regarding improving mobility in the 710 corridor. The plan is controversal ('natch), for some proposals involve the acquisition and demolition of nearly 700 homes and up to 259 businesses in Commerce, Bell Gardens, Bell, Long Beach and other cities. As many as 10,800 people could be affected in some way–of which 10,070 are minority residents. Commerce could lose two of its four parks, Bandini and Bristow. However, the actual improvement may be delayed due to the financial condition of the state, for according to the Los Angeles Times in October 2003:
The project had been scheduled for completion in 2007. Most of the freeway has 16-foot medians, while current standards call for 22-foot medians. As for the shoulders, most of the freeway has 8-foot wide shoulders, while current standards call for 10-foot-wide shoulders. According to the LA Times article, I-710 carries 15% of the nation's seaborne cargo volume, or 47,000 trucks each day, a number projected to double or even triple in the coming years.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, in late January 2005, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved a $5.5-billion plan to rebuild I-710, despite protests from residents. This plan would reconstruct an 18-mile stretch of the freeway from the harbors to rail yards in Commerce and East Los Angeles, transforming it from a 1950s-style road with six to 10 lanes to a modern 14-lane highway, with four lanes designed exclusively for trucks. Some portions of the truck lanes could be elevated. Construction would not begin until 2015 or later, and no one can say where funding would be found. Although most residents near the corridor agree the road needs to be rebuilt, many fear the project would create a massive truck artery without reducing air pollution. The Gateway Cities Council of Governments, made up of cities along the 710 corridor, made its first request to transportation officials to expand I-710 in 1999, and formal planning began a year later. But the process stalled in the spring of 2003, when residents learned that up to 800 homes could be demolished, and they accused officials of ignoring health concerns. The council then launched an elaborate process for community input. New design plans, meanwhile, call for the demolition of only five residential buildings and 61 industrial or commercial structures. Transportation officials say community health concerns will be addressed as part of the environmental review process, which could begin next year and take three to four years, at a cost of $35 million to $40 million.
In June 2006, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency Board of Directors authorized an environmental study of the project, which will cost $30 million and take three years. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the MTA, Caltrans and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments each contributed $5 million to help fund the study of the work; the overall project could cost up to $5.5 billion. The final project will involve building 10 mixed-flow lanes, four exclusive truck lanes, improving interchanges and arteries and direct truck ramps into railroad yards in Vernon and Commerce.
In December 2010, LA Metro provided an update. The environmental study was launched in 2008. Among the alternatives being studied for the project is widening the freeway to 10 lanes (five lanes in each direction); adding four elevated truck-only lanes adjacent to I-710 (two lanes in each direction); restricting the truck-only lanes to be used by trucks with zero tailpipe emissions; and possibly tolling the truck-only lanes. The goal is to release the study in Fall 2011.There are still money challenges. The construction cost of some of the alternatives ranges from $3.8 billion to $6.7 billion, depending on which alternative is selected. As part of the Measure R sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008, $590 million is available for the I-710 project. In order to help address the funding shortfall, this project and five others, is being studied for a public-private partnership – i.e. deals in which private firms help pay for a project’s upfront cost in exchange for payments later. This is one reason the tolling option for trucks is being studied.
In June 2011, it was reported that the latest proposal would expand the 18-mile long roadway to 10 lanes without taking homes or disrupting adjacent Blue Line light- rail operations. Authorities expect the project to cost up to $8 billion and take more than a decade to complete, though tolls on trucks could significantly reduce public costs. The plan deviates significantly from a roundly dismissed proposal nearly 10 years ago that included destroying nearly 300 homes and businesses in North Long Beach and Compton, among other cities, to accommodate widening. The basic plan is to add new lanes on existing (electric) utility rights-of-way along the Los Angeles River, add a truck freight corridor, and improve interchanges and generally overall traffic flow. Traffic engineers expect truck traffic to increase from about 25,000 rigs per day now to as many as 90,000 daily by 2035. One proposal calls for adding a $10 toll on most large big rigs using a new, separated toll road during peak hours, generally from early morning to late afternoon, and $5 during off- peak hours. Passenger vehicles would not be taxed for using general-purpose lanes, though trucks using those lanes could be charged up to $20 per trip under details outlined in one plan. More details may be found at http://www.metro.net/710.
In June 2012, Caltrans released the Draft EIR for the mobility improvements. The defined alternatives assessed were:
Subsequent to the completion of the Alternatives Screening Analysis described above, the I-710 Funding Partners agreed that a tolling option should be added to the freight corridor component of Alternatives 6A and 6B to provide a possible revenue source to fund the improvements. This alternative is known as Alternative 6C. Alternative 6C includes all the components of Alternative 6B as described above and consists of the same footprint as Alternatives 6A and 6B. Further, this alternative would toll trucks using the freight corridor. Per Federal statute, unless otherwise excepted, all Interstate highways must be toll-free. However, current exceptions relating to tolling of Interstate highways include Value Pricing Pilot Program; Express Lanes Demonstration Project; the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program; and the Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program. Should Alternative 6C be selected as the preferred alternative, tolling would be implemented pursuant to one of these exceptions.
In August 2011, the CTC indicated that there were no comments to the Draft EIR, that the Findings were accepted and that consideration of funding should be brought forward to the CTC for approval of Public Private Partnership funds.
In February 2013, it was reported that, following thousands of comments from leaders within community health and environmental coalitions, the State-led project to expand I-710 from eight lanes to 14 lanes for 17 miles from Long Beach to Route 60 in East Los Angeles was delayed. The Project Committee, am advisory committee to Metro, Caltrans and the Southern California Association of Governments, halted the project with an astounding “no” on the proposed routes. Meanwhile, the Long Beach City Council I-710 Oversight Committee recommended that Caltrans and Metro recirculate the draft EIR, allowing for more public comment. At that meeting, two of the most exceptionally flawed alternatives–known as 5A and 6A–were recommended to be removed from the table.
In March 2015, it was reported that transportation officials are considering
two multibillion-dollar options to reconstruct an 18-mile stretch of I-710
between the harbor and rail yards near I-5. Both are designed to separate cars
and trucks as much as possible. One alternative under study by Caltrans and the
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is an $8-billion
freight corridor that includes four elevated truck-only lanes that would
parallel I-710 between the highway and the Los Angeles River. The other option,
which is far cheaper at an estimated $3 billion to $4 billion, would add one
lane in each direction and a bypass that would take trucks around the I-405
interchange. I-710 now has anywhere from three to five lanes in each direction.
The proposals include extensive improvements to about a dozen interchanges and
redesigns of connector and ramp areas to eliminate weaving caused by merging
trucks and cars. Bikeways and walkways for pedestrians also are under
consideration. The two current proposals were essentially split off from a
broader 710 South project approved in 2005 by MTA directors. That $4.5-billion
proposal called not only for two elevated truck lanes but also for interchange
improvements and at least two regular lanes in each direction. It would take
about two years for the planning and environmental work to be completed. Once
an option is selected and money is found, a construction contract could be
awarded by 2018 or 2019.
In March 2016, the Los Angeles MTA presented its full proposal for what
transit lines could be built -- and when -- if Los Angeles County voters
approve a half-cent sales tax increase in November 2016. This proposal included
funding for the I-710 South Corridor Project. The project will add 2 Zero
Emission Truck lanes in each direction, from Pico/Anaheim in Long Beach to
Bandini/Washington in Commerce for a total of 18 miles, while maintaining the
current existing 4 Mixed-Flow lanes in each direction.
Route 710 — Other Improvements
According to the Daily News, new pavement will be laid in a $164.5 million project along nine miles of I-710. The project includes shoulder reconstruction, new concrete barriers, a soundwall and widening of the Atlantic Boulevard undercrossing and of the southbound lanes at the Compton Creek bridge. Construction is scheduled to start in summer 2007.
The Los Angeles Times provided more information the new pavement in an
article in September 2009. The project is called the "I-710 Long Life Pavement
Project", and started in 2001. Part of the problem is the traffic load on the
highway: On any given weekday, nearly 155,000 vehicles stream north and south
on the 710 past Pacific Coast Highway, 16% of which are 18-wheelers carrying up
to 40 tons to and from the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. The
pavement is using a new asphalt mix, the culmination of testing and
experimenting that goes back to the 1960s. The mix involves different types of
asphalt being layered onto the roadway, combined with significant thickness,
almost 12 inches sitting upon the old concrete roadbed. This approach serves to
disseminate weight from the point of impact, broadening and lessening the load
into the deeper layers. As the old concrete beneath the road jumps --
inevitable, beneath the weight of moving traffic -- the asphalt flexes and
recoils, preventing the formation of cracks. In addition, pieces of rubber have
been stirred into the top layer to mute the sound of traffic and divert water
to stop hydroplaning. With regular maintenance, scraping and replacing this
layer every eight to 12 years, the pavement is expected to last at least 30
years (the typical asphalt pavement lasts 10 years, and concrete, such as the
design used for I-710, can last 40 years with maintenance).
In August 2011, it was reported that the Long Life Pavement Project will require a number of closures in late Summer 2011. Specifically, I-710 between I-105 and the Atlantic Boulevard exit will be completely shut down for several hours at a time two times per weekend on 10 consecutive weekends from August 5 through October 17, 2011. There will be no construction on Labor Day weekend. The full freeway closures in both directions will begin each weekend at 11:59 p.m. Fridays and run through 6 a.m. on Saturdays. They will begin again Sundays at 11 p.m. and run through 5 a.m. on Mondays. During the initial closure each weekend, moveable median barriers will be installed. They will guide motorists to shift to the northbound side of the freeway to commute in a reduced number of lanes while construction crews work on the southbound 710 over the weekend. During the final closure, the moveable median barriers will be removed in time for the Monday morning commute.
The CTC in November 2002 considered $8,540,000 in improvements to local streets in Los Angeles, Alhambra, and South Pasadena (07S-LA-710-26.7/32.1). This would be a grant to the cities to fund improvements.
In August 2011, the CTC approved $190,222,000 in SHOPP funding for I-710 from South Gate to Monterey Park from Los Angeles River Bridge to Ramona Boulevard that will rehabilitate 37 lane miles of roadway to improve safety and ride quality. The project will also replace ramp pavement, widen inside and outside shoulders and nine bridges to standard widths, and replace existing median barrier with concrete barrier. Lastly, the project will construct maintenance pullouts to reduce worker traffic exposure.
In November 2014, it was reported that a
subcontractor installed a new sign for the Olympic Boulevard exit that read
"Olimpic." A construction crew with the California Department of Transportation
spotted the mistake the next morning, but it was too late. The misspelling was
hard to miss, and drivers had already snapped and tweeted photographs of the
sign. Days later, a black tarp was thrown over the sign in an attempt to cover
the misspelling. The sign was one of many improvements underway on I-710 as
part of a pavement rehabilitation project. The $120-million project, reaching
from the Los Angeles River Bridge to I-10, includes median barrier upgrades,
shoulder widening and the installation of fiber optics and precast concrete
panels and slabs. All costs associated with the removal, replacement and
installation of the Olympic Boulevard sign will be paid by the subcontractor
who fabricated the sign, not taxpayers or the state.
In May 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that there are plans for a $20M project to create a connector from the current end of I-710 around Valley Boulevard to Mission Road. Supposedly, the City of Los Angeles will soon (Spring/Summer 2007) release a draft Environmental Impact Report on the project. The connector road would carry traffic another 1,400 feet from I-710 onto Mission Road, possibly sending 40,000 cars daily winding through residential streets like Westminster and Meridian Avenue. The road would alleviate traffic problems through some El Sereno neighborhoods, according to Los Angeles officials, but create others as Mission, a collector street, is not as wide as Valley, an arterial street. This road would be needed only until I-710 is completed and connected to I-210.
The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, authorized $2,400,000 for High Priority Project #2193: I-710 Freeway study to evaluate technical feasibility and impacts of a Tunnel Alternative to close I-710 freeway gap. It also authorized $1,600,000 for High Priority Project #3018: Valley Boulevard (former US 60) Capacity Improvement between I-710 Freeway and Marguerita Avenue, Alhambra. This is the route that takes the current end-traffic from I-710.
Originally, construction of the the 6.2 mile, $670 million extension was planned to start after the year 2000. There would be six lanes and two HOV lanes, with room for light rail in the median. Interchanges are planned at Hellman Ave., Valley Boulevard/Alhambra Ave., Huntington Dr., California Blvd, Del Mar Blvd., and Green St. To decrease the impact on South Pasadena, the proposed interchange with I-110 has been removed. There are also two tunnels planned: a 1200-foot "cut and cover" near South Pasadena High School, and a 100-foot tunnel near the Buena Vista district. There may be more tunneling if this speeds the project without destroying homes. In fact, the MTA has asked a consultant to study two parallel, 4.5-mile tunnels to close the gap.
In April 2004, the Pasadena Star News reported that the city of South Pasadena dropped its lawsuit against the state after receiving assurances that the state had withdrawn its approval of the 4.5-mile stretch of road. Although South Pasadena believed this killed the freeway, it actually moved the issue into the Legislature and the Congress. The only thing about which both sides agree is that the California Transportation Commission action put the entire issue back to square one. The California Transportation Commission withdrew its support four months after the Federal Highway Administration issued a letter saying that the state's environmental reviews were outdated, inadequate and had to be redone. Caltrans has said it intends to move forward with the new environmental reviews. Caltrans still holds 600 homes in the 710 corridor, and it still says it intends to demolish them so that the freeway can be built.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times on 10 August 2005, a potential solution to the completion of I-710 lies in the SAFETEA-LUA bill approved in August. This bill contains an appropriation of $2.4 million to study the possibility of extending the freeway through a five-mile, $2-billion tunnel that would run under South Pasadena and part of Pasadena. This would be the longest continuous highway tunnel in the United States. After the feasibility study would be environmental impact reports, engineering plans and financial wrangles. Part of the problem is real estate values. Over the last 30 years, Caltrans purchased more than 500 homes that occupy the potential freeway right of way, many at prices in the $50,000 range. One was recently appraised for $780,000. Building a tunnel would allow Caltrans to sell most of the homes, although a change in state law would be needed to sell them at full-market prices. If the freeway were to be completed above ground, an additional 400 homes would need to be purchased, at a price of about $1 million each. These costs (or income), combeind with new techniques pioneered in Europe that lower the price of tunneling and the cost to taxpayers of putting the road 100 feet to 200 feet below ground may be not much more expensive than building on the surface. The five-mile tunnel, if built, would begin where the freeway ends in a stump on Valley Boulevard in Alhambra. It would surface between California and Del Mar avenues in Pasadena before connecting to a mile strip of the freeway that already exists south of the Foothill Freeway. Engineers said the tunnel would be unbroken, except for a possible interchange at Huntington Drive in El Sereno. The route would be nearly twice as long as Boston's Big Dig or a similarly long passageway in Alaska, the longest road tunnels in the United States. Exhaust from the underground roadway would be released and filtered through an elaborate venting system at ground level. The so-called air scrubbers would filter enough of the exhaust that it could actually result in cleaner emissions than with a surface freeway. Engineers said the tunnel could have two levels – one for northbound traffic, the other for southbound traffic. The tunnel idea has already been the subject of a study by the Southern California Council of Governments, which enlisted help from consultants who built the Chunnel that links England and France below the English Channel. The consultants believed the tunnel could be built using a technique popular in Europe in which a large machine bores through the Earth and coats the tunnel way with a steel membrane That technique is considered less expensive than other tunnel-digging methods.
According to the Los Angeles Times in June 2006, there are three possible routes for twin 4½-mile tunnels that would connect I-210 in Pasadena with current terminus of I-710 in Alhambra. The proposed tunnel routes are:
The tunnels would be as much as 72 feet in diameter to handle four lanes of traffic, and would be the world's largest. Parsons Brinckerhoff compared the proposal to giant tunnels being built underneath Seattle, Paris and Barcelona, Spain, and calculate that the L.A. tunnels would take nine to 11 years to construct. The study recommended that trucks be allowed to use the tunnels and that a proposed freeway exit at Huntington Drive be abandoned as too costly at an estimated $1 billion. The tunnels may require a toll to help pay for construction. The full report can be found at http://www.mta.net/images/710_final_report.pdf.
In April 2008, a radical proposal surfaced regarding Route 710. This
proposal would have the underground highway funded entirely by the private
sector. Metro officials have confirmed they have been approached by a financial
broker representing major international corporations interested in investing in
the plan, which would use giant tunnel-boring machines to build a completely
subterranean 6-mile, multi- lane roadway. The route would link the current
terminus of the northbound I-710 in Alhambra with a short northern Route 710
segment of the freeway in Pasadena. The discussions are very preliminary and
more details about the plan need to be hashed out before a private-partnership
could even be considered. Under some public-private partership agreements, the
private contractor pays for and builds the infrastructure in exchange for
future revenues, such as fees collected through tolls. This latest proposal
addresses all the concerns of South Pasadena residents and elected officials,
by being entirely subterranian, not cut and cover. However, Route 710 extension
plans also have to contend with opposition from nearby La Cañada Flintridge,
which has objected to any proposed tunnel plans because of officials' fears of
increased traffic on I-210 through their city.
In January 2009, Caltrans and the LA MTA conducted geotechnical exploratory borings in two locations in the City of Alhambra. This is part of the Exploration Program phase of the two-year I-710 Tunnel Technical Study that will involve research, exploration and technical analysis of the soil and sub-surface conditions found while tunneling at depths of more than 250 feet. The net goal is to see whether construction of the I-710 tunnels is feasible. The map of the routes being explored is as follows:
The purpose of the study is to examine the possibility of constructing a tunnel to complete the route between the northern I-710 termini and the Foothill Freeway (I-210). The study is being conducted in a route neutral manner. This means that all reasonable and practicable alternatives for completing the route are being considered within the Study area, which encompasses the cities of Alhambra, Glendale, La Cañada-Flintridge, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, San Marino, South Pasadena and Pasadena. Information gathered throughout the Study will describe soil and sub-surface conditions and will determine the feasibility of building a tunnel to complete I-710.
In 2009, the LA Times (11/17/2009) reported that the tunnel study was completed. The study explored five zones, and concluded that a tunnel would be feasible (which is a far way from the start of construction). The draft report will be finalized in 2010, was based on the assumption that the tunnel would be about 200 feet below ground and about 50 feet in diameter. It looked at five potential construction zones:
The Glendale News Press reported in February 2010 that the debate over the alternative, an underground tunnel, was reinvigorated in late 2009 when Caltrans and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a $6-million route feasibility study. The report showed tunneling was feasible within five potential route zones, which include connections to I-210 and Route 2. That sparked a wave of renewed protest from local stakeholders, who said the perception that plans for a 710 connector was too far flung and expensive didn’t match with what was happening in political circles. Already, $780 million in Measure R sales tax revenue has been earmarked for the connector. And in January 2010, the MTA instructed officials to explore private partnerships for additional funding. The next step is a series of community meetings for the final draft of the technical study, which will be presented this spring to the MTA and California Transportation Commission, which will decide whether to move forward with more in-depth environmental studies. Tunnel opponents argue there are better ways to address what they contend is largely a commercial freight issue. Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) said moving to the environmental study process would be a misuse of millions in taxpayer dollars. He also criticized the technical study for lacking important details on how and why tunneling is feasible, including costs and construction methods. La Cañada and South Pasadena are in court fighting the use of Measure R funds for tunnel studies or construction, and the Glendale City Council joined the legal fight in early March.
Details on the Tunnel Study may be found at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/710study/index.php.
In October 2011, it was reported that LA Metro approved a $37.3 million contract to CH2MHill to examine a range of alternatives, prepare technical assessments, and environmental and engineering studies about alternatives to close the gap between the Route 210 and Route 710 freeways. The studies are expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.
In January 2012, it was reported that South Pasadena was lobbying to kill the surface routing of Route 710. LA Metro was indicating they had no plans to construct a surface routing, but didn't want to pull it off the table as an option quite yet. The city is also lobbying Caltrans to sell the more than 500 homes the agency bought decades ago along the proposed route in preparation for building the Route 710 Freeway extension to connect with I-210. In particular, at the request of Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), a Joint Legislative Audit Committee is conducting an inquiry into Caltrans’ continued ownership of the homes. The state stands to gain $500 million if it sells the homes in Pasadena, South Pasadena and Los Angeles. However, Caltrans is not able to sell the homes until the Federal Highway Administration accepted the proposed route for a tunnel or whatever project was approved and the state determined which properties were "excess" and therefore available to be sold. If they are sold, under a state law passed in 1979, current tenants and past owners would be the first in line to buy them.
In May 2012, it was reported that debate was still going on regarding alternatives. There are currently twelve alternative concepts to relieve traffic congestion, including a “no build” freeway option and other projects still listed in the Regional Transportation Plan. Those options include alternate bus, light rail and freeway routes, highway and street artery concepts, non-infrastructure improvements and hybrid combinations of the other plans. All of the freeway alternative concepts will connect the terminus of I-710, north of I-10. The alignment can be a tunnel, depressed, at-grade, elevated or any combination. The LRT-4 concept proposes a partially subterranean light rail line that would travel from the East LA Civic Center Gold Line station to the Fillmore station, go north on Mednick at street level and it could stop at Cal State LA. The rail is a tunnel on the north end; the concept also includes two bus routes. The freeway alternatives are:
In August 2012, Metro and Caltrans eliminated 5 routes from the list of 12 possible routes:
The five remaining proposals include routes using bus rapid transit, light rail, or freeway tunnel and intelligent traffic systems (which includes strategies such as ride sharing and encouraging off peak traffic). The remaining alternatives are:
In September 2012, the Los Angeles city council voted to opposed any extension option -- surface or tunnel.
In January 2013, the LA MTA released its analysis of the first options above. In June 2013, MTA voted to block fast-track funding for the the route extension over the next 10 years. While the proposal to extend I-710 to I-210 will be prevented from getting a share of the $9.4 billion in accelerated funding, studies on five alternatives for closing the gap, including a controversial proposal for a tunnel, will continue. The studies are expected to be completed in 2015, but money to move forward after that has not been identified. Officials are using money generated by Measure R, a county-wide half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008, to pay for the studies.
In October 2013, a bill was approved directing Caltrans to sell some of the
nearly 500 properties it owns in Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Pasadena. The
homes are located in the so-called 710 gap, where transportation officials are
studying a 4.5-mile tunnel that would connect the Long Beach (Route 710) and
Foothill (I-210) freeways. The bill adds a change to existing law so that the
homes may be sold “as is,” at prices set according to their
condition, as opposed to having to be repaired and sold at market value. Almost
400 homes are occupied by tenants, but many others remain vacant and in
disrepair. The bill also states the current tenants of the homes will get the
first chance to purchase them. The properties were acquired by Caltrans over
the past several decades in anticipation of the possible construction of a
surface freeway to close the gap between Route 710 and I-210 freeways. The new
law also states that the surface freeway route will be taken off the table as
an option in any state environmental documents on the project (the original
surface routing is shown at the top of this entry).
In October 2014, it was reported that authorities are considering completing
Route 710 with 4.9-mile-long twin tunnels. Light rail, enhanced bus service and
wider streets are also being explored. The 4.9-mile-long tunnel would be longer
than any other in California for auto traffic. As of October 2014, the longest
is the Wawona Tunnel in Yosemite National Park, which is less than 1 mile long.
Caltrans and Metro will release a draft environmental report in February 2015
evaluating the freeway tunnel, mass transit and street-widening options; the
public will have three months to provide comment.
In March 2015, it was reported that any major modifications to the
unfinished Route 710 Freeway would cost billions of dollars and take years to
complete. The Draft EIR provides a number of options to address the 4.5-mile
gap through Alhambra and South Pasadena, including a bus system, a light-rail
line, a freeway tunnel and a range of upgrades to the existing route, as well
as the required "no build" option. Building an underground freeway would be the
most expensive option. Tunneling between I-10 Freeway and the current stub
Route 210/Route134 junction in Pasadena would cost between $3.1 billion and
$5.6 billion and would take about five years to complete. This option calls for
side-by-side, double-decker tunnels to separate northbound and southbound
traffic. The route would feature a 4.9-mile tunnel and 1.4 miles of
surface-level freeway. A less expensive option calls for one double-decker
freeway tunnel. Northbound traffic would use the two lanes on the upper level,
and southbound traffic would use the lower level. The 4.9-mile tunnel would be
the longest in California, and almost as long as downtown Boston's 5.1-mile Big
Dig tunnel. Under either option, drivers could be charged a toll and trucks
could be barred from the tunnels. Alternatively, the bus option provides a
12-mile rapid bus route linking Huntington Drive in San Marino to Whittier
Boulevard in Montebello. Buses would have some dedicated lanes, and could run
every 10 minutes during peak hours. Adding the bus routes would cost $241
million and take about two years. Lastly, a 7.5-mile light-rail line option
would cost $2.4 billion and would add seven stops to Los Angeles County’s
growing rail system, connecting the Gold Line’s Fillmore Station in
Pasadena with the East L.A. Civic Center stop. The route would run underground
through Pasadena and South Pasadena, then run on elevated tracks through
Monterey Park and East Los Angeles. Construction would take about six years.
The cheapest option would be to make the existing freeways and roads more
efficient without major construction. That could include meters for on-ramps,
synchronized traffic signals, and lanes that change direction during peak
hours. Those options would cost about $105 million and take two years to
complete. Caltrans was scheduling a number of open forums to get comments from
In June 2015, it was reported that Beyond the 710, a coalition of
community organizations, environmental attorneys, five San Gabriel Valley
cities, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, had submitted a plan
that eschewed additional highways and tunnels, and proposed instead the notion
that expanding bus service, improving surface streets, adding bicycle routes
and developing more walkable communities would better address traffic
congestion, air pollution and the transportation needs of the west San Gabriel
Valley. Instead of constructing the extension, Beyond the 710 envisions
building several local surface-street projects, including a four-lane
thoroughfare called Golden Eagle Boulevard that would head 1.9 miles north from
the southern stub of Route 710 to Fremont Street in Alhambra. Golden Eagle
would intersect Valley Boulevard, Alhambra Avenue and East Mission Road,
allowing traffic to be distributed to other surface streets, thus protecting
residential neighborhoods. The northern stub of Route 710 in Pasadena would be
filled in, providing35 acres of open space or developable land for homes and
commercial buildings. They also proposed a north-south transit corridor that
meanders along the Route 710 route and would connect to major destinations as
well as Metrolink service, the El Monte busway and the MTA’s Gold, Green
and Blue light-rail lines.
In June 2015, the CTC received the opportunity to provide comments in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Route 710 North Study Project. The opportunity came with numerous letters from community officials and citizens recommending that the CTC take no position until a preferred alternative had been selected by Caltrans. These included letters from Assemblyman (Ret.) Anthony J. Portantino, the City of South Pasadena, the City of La Canada-Flintridge, the West Pasadena Residents Association, Gloria Valladolid, Melissa Michelson, and the No 710 Action Committee. The recommendation, which was accepted, was that the CTC make no comments regarding the environmental issues addressed in the DEIR. The recommendation also noted that the CTC should send a letter to Caltrans stating that (a) The Commission has no comments with respect to the alternatives or environmental impacts addressed in the DEIR; (b) The final environmental document should not be brought forward to the Commission for project funding decisions or other purposes until a cost benefit analysis is distributed through a process that ensures sufficient opportunity for the public to review and provide comment; (c) Early communication and coordination with the Commission is encouraged if it is anticipated that the Commission will be requested to approve the project for delivery through a public private partnership or for construction approval to allow for financing and tolling approval by the California Transportation Financing Authority; and (d) If, in the future, funds or other actions under the purview of the Commission are anticipated ,notification should be provided to the Commission as a Responsible Agency. The initial letter from Caltrans noted that the project is not fully funded: it has $780,000,000 in local funding available and the agency is working to identify additional funds. Depending on the alternative selected, the total estimated project cost is between $105,000,000 and $5,650,000,000.
In August 2015, it was reported that the South Coast Air Quality Management
District said the draft environmental impact report for the proposed Route 710
Freeway extension failed to estimate emissions of carbon monoxide and airborne
particulates and that the tunnel project would raise the cancer risk to
unacceptable levels. The eight-page letter from Ian MacMillan, the anti-smog
district’s planning and rules manager, says the lack of basic air quality
analysis renders the draft EIR useless to the agency or those deciding on a
tunnel or other transit options. One part of the EIR places the cancer risk of
the project at 149 chances per million people exposed to pollutants, well above
the district’s standard threshold of 10 chances per million. Yet, the
report concludes that the cancer risks are “less than significant”
based on faulty data. The agency has requested that Caltrans and the Los
Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority or Metro, which paid $40
million for the study released in March, revise the air quality portion of the
In August 2015, it was also reported that group representing San Gabriel
Valley cities has removed the Route 710 freeway tunnel proposal from its wish
list of projects that might be funded by a new transportation sales tax. The
decades-old idea of extending Route 710 Freeway north from its Alhambra
terminus near Cal State Los Angeles to I-210 Freeway in Pasadena via an
underground tunnel has been divisive. Alhambra wants a tunnel, Pasadena
doesn't. Other cities have taken sides. Now all 31 San Gabriel Valley cities
united in taking the tunnel and other proposals for speeding traffic through
the western valley off the list of projects that would have priority for
funding with a potential new transportation sales tax. The vote by the San
Gabriel Valley Council of Governments does not kill the tunnel idea, but it has
the potential for limiting the means of paying for its construction, estimated
by Caltrans at more than $5 billion.
Lastly, also in August 2015, it was reported that Caltrans was preparing to
sell a number of properties it acquired for the right of way of the Route 710
completion. In the 1950s and '60s, Caltrans began buying up houses and plots of
land for what was expected to be the path of the I-710 Freeway. But in the
decades that followed, the 6.2-mile project was stalled by lobbying, lawsuits
and legislation. Earlier in 2015, closing the door on one portion of the
long-fought battle, officials decided that if anything is to be built to close
the transportation network gap from El Sereno to I-210 in Pasadena, it will be
underground. Those options include a light-rail line, a bus rapid-transit
system or a freeway tunnel. The final decision is expected in 2016. The land
occupied by many of the state's 460 properties along the corridor will no
longer be needed. Caltrans has made slow progress this summer in preparing to
sell some of those homes — many occupied, and some on the National
Register of Historic Places. Officials say if the state approves the sale
regulations quickly, most of the homes could go on the market as soon as
January 2016, and some sooner. A document prepared by Caltrans earlier in 2015
suggested that dozens of tenants could be priced out. Under a 1979 law,
low-income renters will receive a discounted rate, as could tenants who make
less than 150% of the county's median income: $45,350 for a single person, or
$64,800 for a family of four. Former owners and current tenants receiving a
reduced rate would have the first chance to buy the property. The next turn
would go to affordable housing development companies, then to tenants who would
pay market price, then to former tenants in reverse order of occupancy. The
final option would be a public auction. More than 35 Caltrans-owned homes are
considered uninhabitable, according to agency data, and residents have
complained of break-ins, mold and vermin infestations.
In August 2015, the CTC was provided the opportunity to comment on the DEIR regarding the sale of Route 710 properties. The transmittal from Caltrans noted that the DEIR proposed the sale of Department-owned surplus properties that are not impacted by the project alternatives being evaluated in the Route 710 (SR 710) North Study Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for sale in the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, and the El Sereno neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles. These surplus properties are to be offered for sale in a manner that will preserve, upgrade, and expand the supply of housing available to affected persons and families of low or moderate income, in accordance with Senate Bill (SB) 86 (Roberti, 1979), SB 416 (Liu, 2014) and the Affordable Sales Program (ASP) regulations. Senate Bill 416 requires proceeds from the sale of surplus properties to be allocated to the SR 710 Rehabilitation Account for the rehabilitation of surplus single family homes being sold to low- and moderate-income occupants for which lenders of government housing assistance programs require repairs. The SR 710 Rehabilitation Account is continuously refilled with each sale. When the balance of this accounts reaches $500,000, additional proceeds go to the State Highway Account and are to be allocated by the California Transportation Commission exclusively for projects located in Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, La Canada Flintridge, and the 90032 Zip code area of Los Angeles (El Sereno). There were two options: selling or not selling. The CTC had no comments with respect to the DEIR’s purpose and need, the alternatives studied and the evaluation methods used.
In October 2015, it was reported that opponents to the completion of Route
710 have indicated that they will campaign against a proposed 2016 transit tax
measure if it includes funding for the completion of Route 710. This measure,
R2, is a future sales tax that would pump an extra $120 billion into Metro
coffers for rail and highway projects during the next 42 years. The message was
backed by a letter signed by 225 people and an online petition with 3,406
signees, said Janice SooHoo, a member of the No
710 Action Committee. Geoff Baum, president of the West Pasadena
Residents Association, representing 7,000 households, said his group also
would oppose Measure R2 if a 710 tunnel was listed. While Caltrans has proposed
“closing the 710 gap” for nearly 60 years, mostly as a surface
route, the tunnel route had gained momentum during the past six years until
recently. The EIR said the tunnel alternative would provide the greatest amount
of traffic relief and the fewest impacts of the five alternatives studied. A
tunnel would connect motorists from Alhambra/El Sereno to Pasadena but not have
exits. The tunnel would include a toll of $5.64 for cars and $15.23 for trucks
(if allowed), according to a 2008 tunnel financial feasibility assessment. The
opponents, speaking at the Metro board meeting, said they want to see the
tunnel eliminated from Metro’s long-range transportation plan and kept
off a list of R2 projects. The Beyond The 710 group wants to swap out a tunnel
with various surface street improvements, including a boulevard from the south
stub to Mission Road, more east-west thoroughfare connections, a rapid bus
going north-south between the stubs, a connection between the Gold Line
light-rail in Pasadena to Burbank and more dedicated bikeways. Currently, the
710 tunnel is not included in any of the transportation project lists submitted
by COGs from throughout the county to Metro.
In December 2015, an interesting article in the LA Times asked not the
question "How should the highway be built?", but "What do we do with the
aboveground land now that a surface option is off the table completely?" It
noted that, over the years, Caltrans acquired about 400 residential properties,
most of them single-family houses, that it planned to demolish to make way for
the freeway. It also owns nearly 60 vacant residential lots as well as several
large open pieces of land, many alongside, between or near freeway ramps at
each end of the corridor. Caltrans has said that it plans to sell them in
batches over time, beginning with a group of about 50 early next year, to avoid
flooding the market and depressing their value. It also said current tenants
would have first crack at buying the houses, as long as they could pay what
Caltrans terms "appraised fair market value." The author posits that instead of
letting the property it controls melt back into the private realm, Caltrans
should work with Los Angeles County and the state of California to build a
combination of new parks and affordable and market-rate housing in the 710
corridor. New bike and walking paths could lead to the Arroyo Seco and rail
stations on the Gold Line, helping stitch back together neighborhoods long
separated by a no-man's land set aside for freeway construction. If the tunnel
plan is ultimately shelved, as many have predicted, large pieces of open land
would become available for new uses, including a sunken green space in Pasadena
stretching north from California Boulevard to the edge of the Old Town shopping
district. That land, like acreage near the corridor's southern end, could
accommodate apartment buildings as well as arrays of solar panels or space for
capturing and treating storm water. The overall conclusion is thus: More to the
point, it is not enough to oppose the 710 extension simply by arguing for the
status quo. Rising income inequality and homelessness, an acute shortage of
park space in Los Angeles County and the need for new approaches to energy and
water policy in an era of climate change: The pressing nature of each of these
issues means that alongside impassioned statements about what shouldn't be
built we need to hear wide-ranging ideas about what should be.
In January 2016, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group listed the Route
710 tunnel extension project as one of 12 highway boondoggles that represent a
waste of taxpayer dollars, outdated thinking and misplaced national
transportation priorities. The
report criticizes boring dual tunnels that would extend Route 710 from
where it currently ends at Valley Boulevard under El Sereno, a mostly Latino
neighborhood of Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Pasadena, where the 4.5-mile
tunnel project would reach the surface and connect at the I-210/Route 134
freeway interchange. Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (Metro) place the cost of the tunnels at between $3.2
billion and $5.6 billion. At the high end of the estimate, it is the
second-most expensive project in the report, with the highest being an
I–95 Freeway widening in Connecticut estimated to cost $11.2 billion.
Third is the Tampa Bay Express Lanes at $3.3 billion and fourth is the
Puget Sound Gateway highway project in Washington at $2.8 billion to
$3.1 billion. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s report
says the 12 projects would outspend revenues from the Federal Highway Trust
Fund, mostly supported by the federal gasoline tax.
On the other hand, also in January 2016, 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 (I-710) Freeway to the Foothill (I-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. The draft
plan also accelerates the project completion date five years from 2030 to
In March 2016, the question of whether the tunneling elsewhere in Los
Angeles County, as well as the tunneling in the State of Washington for the
Alaskan Way Viaduct might have any impact on the support for the I-710 Tunnel.
For I-710, two freeway tunnel options have been explored in a 26,000-page draft
environmental impact report released in March 2015. Twin-bore tunnels would be
excavated side by side — one northbound, one southbound — and each
tunnel would have two levels, with two lanes of traffic per level, for a total
of four lanes in each tunnel. A single-bore, double-decker tunnel would be one
tunnel with two levels: northbound traffic would use the upper level and
southbound traffic the lower level, amounting to two lanes in each direction
for a total of four lanes. Caltrans and Metro estimate the cost of the tunnels
between $3.2 billion and $5.6 billion. Transit tunnels are smaller than roadway
tunnels and therefore easier to complete. The Metro transit tunnels are 21.5
feet in diameter, compared with the Alaska Way Viaduct in Seattle, which is 57
feet. The larger a tunnel’s diameter, the more difficult it is to build.
The size of Seattle’s tunnel is one reason the tunneling there has
encountered delays. Either tunnel option for closing the 710 gap would require
a tunnel of an excavated diameter of about 60 feet, according to the EIR. Both
the single-bore and dual-bore variations would be about 6.3 miles long,
with 4.2 miles of bored tunnel, 0.7 miles of cut-and-cover tunnel
and 1.4 miles of at-grade portions, according to the EIR. The interior
diameter would be 52.5 feet and the outside diameter would be
58.5 feet. The extra width is required so the machine can maneuver. Twin
tunnels would require cross passages to allow first responders to reach each
tunnel in an emergency, the EIR states. A single-bore tunnel would need
emergency exits and ventilation pipes throughout.
In May 2016, it was reported that a collection of Pasadena residents are
proposing to replace the Route 710 freeway stub (S of the junction with Route
134/I-210) with housing, businesses and a tree-covered boulevard. The
state-owned land between California Boulevard and I-210 represents nearly 2.5
million square feet of potential development next door to the city’s
thriving Old Pasadena district. Caltrans took ownership of the property decades
ago to build a surface freeway from Alhambra to Pasadena. The project stalled
and shifted over the years, but the most recent proposal suggests a more than
4-mile long tunnel from Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to the stub in Pasadena.
The proposed design starts with low density single-family homes on the south
end and increases in density as it gets closer to I-210.
In July 2016, it was reported that the Metro board of directors voted to
place the a proposed sales tax ballot measure (Measure R-2, later renamed
Measure M) on the November ballot with a provision that makes clear the funds
generated by the new measure will not fund the Route 710 tunnel. Local mayors
were encouraging the board to instruct its staff and Caltrans to add the
"Beyond the 710" proposal to the current Route 710 north study. This proposal
proposes to remove the Route 710 freeway stubs at the I-210/Route 134
interchange and the Valley Blvd stub, replacing them with four-lane great
streets, and using the freed-up land to build new parks and greenspace,
transit, bikeways, residential and commercial development, and affordable
housing, and providing extra room for local institutions such as Cal State Los
Angeles. The south stub transformation would replace the stub with a grand
boulevard that would better disperse local traffic, making it easier to get
where people want to go and relieving congestion that currently burdens
Alhambra and other nearby communities. The price tag is 10 percent of the cost
of a tunnel.
In August 2016, it was reported that under orders by both the governor and
the state Legislature, and after a years-long push by both cities and tenants,
Caltrans will soon begin selling houses along the path of a former surface
route of the Route 710 completion. The residential properties — most of
them occupied with tenants — are located in El Sereno, a neighborhood
spanning Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Pasadena. After years of challenges,
rewrites and delays, Caltrans on July 26 approved a final, state-required
environmental report on the sale of surplus properties along what
would’ve been the buildout of a surface freeway route from Valley
Boulevard in Alhambra to I-210 in west Pasadena. On the same date, Caltrans
Director Malcolm Dougherty signed off rules allowing the sale of 460 properties
in the same north-south strip under a state program. The first homes being sold
will lie outside “the scope” of those transportation options,
according to Caltrans. Properties closer to the new routes will be sold later,
as will properties considered excess if alternative routes are built or the
project is killed. A recent bill by state Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada
Flintridge, required Caltrans to remove itself from its landlord role and sell
the homes as is. But the opening of bids is likely to bring even more questions
about the properties and their residents. Some wonder whether the rent-paying
tenants will be able to afford the asking price for their homes. If not,
advocates worry that they’ll be forced out.
In September 2016, it was reported that SB580, legislation that would
generate funding for affordable housing while preserving historical homes near
the proposed Route 710, had cleared the legislature. Caltrans currently owns
460 homes that are not within the scope of the remaining Route 710
alternatives. Nighty-seven of these homes are declared historic by the state or
federal government. The bill would allow a public affordable housing entity to
purchase, rehabilitate, and resell the homes in order to dedicate the profits
to build affordable housing in the same area. Historical homes would be offered
to a housing entity that can restore it for public use or resale; or to a
non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitation and maintaining the home
for public and community access and use. Meanwhile, Caltrans will sell 42 of
the properties under orders by both the state Legislature and the governor.
Offers on the homes, including 39 single-family and three milti-family
residences, can reportedly be made at the end of September. The properties are
located in South Pasadena, Pasadena, El Sereno. The homes are no longer needed
since the Route 710 surface route is no longer a consideration.
When the sales are permitted, it will be significant in the lives of the
current renters. Those staying put to eventually purchase their rentals are
bending over backward to play within a complex set of rules that will allow
them to remain qualified to buy their homes at what Caltrans describes as an
“affordable price.” That means freezing incomes or somehow
maintaining the same number of tenants in their homes. Some have rejected
marriage proposals. Others have gotten divorced, while still more wrestle with
early retirement in order to keep household incomes low enough to qualify for
reduced rents. Anything to stay in their homes and keep alive a shot at buying
them at a low price. Caltrans has said 398 surplus single-family and
multi-family homes would be sold from 2016 to 2020 in bunches, but the agency
has not released the addresses with the year of sale. Two laws govern a
tenant’s ability to stay in their home. One was written after a 2012
audit found that Caltrans overspent on home improvements and undercharged for
rent on more than 500 properties along the Route 710 path. The agency raised
rents as a result. That led to rents increasing about 10 percent every six
months, which works out to about 21 percent each year. Only residents with an
income of 120 percent or lower than the median county income can qualify for
the affordable rental program. Under the Roberti bill’s affordable
purchase program, incomes must be 150 percent or lower. Those in that 30
percent gap continue to pay higher rents. If they leave, they risk losing the
chance at buying their homes.
In October 2016, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the sale of Department-owned surplus properties that are not impacted by the project alternatives being evaluated in the Route 710 North Study Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement in the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, and El Sereno. These surplus properties are to be offered for sale in a manner that will preserve, upgrade, and expand the supply of housing available to affected persons and families of low or moderate income, in accordance with Senate Bill 416 (Liu, 2014) and the Affordable Sales Program regulations. Senate Bill 416 requires proceeds from the sale of surplus properties to be allocated to the Route 710 Rehabilitation Account for the rehabilitation of surplus single family homes being sold to low- and moderate-income occupants for which lenders of government housing assistance programs require repairs. The Route 710 Rehabilitation Account is continuously refilled with each sale. When the balance of this account reaches $500,000, additional proceeds go to the State Highway Account for allocation by the California Transportation Commission to be used exclusively for projects located in Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, La Canada Flintridge, and the 90032 Zip Code area of Los Angeles (El Sereno).
In December 2016, it was reported that Caltrans has started to sell off 42
homes it bought decades ago in anticipation of the planned Route 710 extension
through Pasadena, South Pasadena and Alhambra. The properties were purchased to
be demolished, as part of the plan to clear the area and extend Route 710
Freeway from Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to I-210 in Pasadena. Decades of
delays and legal challenges derailed the freeway extension, and Caltrans is now
exploring other options, including a tunnel, a light rail system or a busway.
The properties going up for sale are among 460 the department owns along the
proposed Route 710 Corridor but are outside the scope of any current plans
under consideration. Notices of conditional offers were mailed Friday to the
current occupants of the 42 residential properties that will be sold as part of
the Affordable Sales Program. Eligible occupants will have the opportunity to
purchase the homes at discounted prices. The department will also provide
affordable rental options for eligible occupants and establish a trust fund for
future affordable housing programs.
In February 2017, it was reported that Assemblyman Chris Holden introduced
legislation that would prohibit building a tunnel to close the 6.2-mile gap of
the Route 710 Freeway between the I-10 and I-210 freeways, the assemblyman
announced Thursday. This is the first time a piece of legislation would aim to
kill the controversial project proposed by Caltrans. The freeway tunnel project
would run through El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena and has divided
communities in the San Gabriel Valley. Assembly Bill 287 would put the 710
Freeway project in the hands of an advisory committee that would recommend an
alternative, such as light-rail routes, dedicated busways, roadways and bike
lanes. The committee would be made up of three people from Caltrans, two from
the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), two
representatives each from Alhambra, Los Angeles, Pasadena and South Pasadena
appointed by those cities; two members of the Assembly as appointed by the
Speaker of the Assembly and two members of the Senate as appointed by the
Senate Rules Committee. Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said Holden switching to
the anti-freeway tunnel side may be the death knell for the project. He
advocated that about $700 million set aside for the tunnel in Measure R, a
county transit tax, be released for immediate roadway and possibly bus and rail
projects, instead of the tunnel “to create real jobs that can happen
before (union members) retire.”
In May 2017, it was reported that -- in short -- "It's dead,
Jim". In a unanimous vote at the end of May 2017, the LA
Metropolitan Transportation Agency (Metro) board approved a
motion submitted last week by chairman John Fasana calling on the agency to
pursue an alternative to the tunnel that focuses instead on smaller
infrastructure improvements in the area. Fasana previously supported building
the tunnel, but said Thursday it was simply too costly for Metro to finance. In
the works for well over a decade, the project, Fasana suggested, needed a
resolution. “I think we’ve reached a point where a decision needs
to be made,” he said. With the board’s vote, Metro will now pursue
the so-called “Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand
Management” alternative—one of five options proposed by Metro in a
2013 study that analyzed possibilities for closing the Route 710 freeway gap.
Metro will now pursue bringing smaller changes to the communities the tunnel
would have linked. Those include more frequent bus service, widening certain
streets, and better traffic signal synchronization. The infrastructure
improvements will be paid for with $780 million in funding set aside for the
Route 710 project through Measure R. Fasana’s original motion called for
the bulk of those funds to go toward “mobility improvement
projects” in the San Gabriel Valley, but was later amended to include
communities like El Sereno and unincorporated East LA that have been affected
by the project.
The portion of this route between Route 1 and the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive, from Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Boulevard, from Ocean Boulevard west of its intersection with Harbor Scenic Drive to its junction with Seaside Boulevard, and from Seaside Boulevard from the junction with Ocean Boulevard to Route 47 is not officially named.
The portion of I-710 that runs between Pico Avenue and the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) in the City of Long Beach is named the "Senator Jenny Oropeza Memorial Freeway". It was named in memory of Jenny Oropeza, who passed away on October 20, 2010. Oropeza was a lifelong public servant who was active in her community and was elected first to the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education, then to the Long Beach City Council and the Assembly of the State of California, and finally to the Senate of the State of California. During her time as a Member of the Legislature, Jenny Oropeza was a champion for public transportation, health care, education, clean air, equality, and the prevention of cancer. Senator Oropeza was so admired by her constituents and community that she was posthumously awarded the Political Leadership Award in 2011 by the Democratic Women’s Study Club in Long Beach, which has renamed that award the Jenny Oropeza Political Leadership Award. The Long Beach Community Hispanic Association (Centro CHA) posthumously awarded Senator Oropeza the Create Change Community Service Excellence Award in 2011, which will in future years be called the Create Change: Jenny Oropeza Community Service Excellence Award. In recognition of Senator Oropeza, the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club created the Jenny Oropeza Ally of the Year Award, which was first awarded in 2011. As a tribute to Senator Oropeza’s dedication to fostering protections for key state public health programs, the Los Angeles County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in joint collaboration with the six other California-based Komen affiliates, known as “the California Collaborative,” established the Senator Jenny Oropeza Public Policy Internship position. The City of Long Beach named the community center in Cesar E. Chavez Park the Jenny Oropeza Community Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District dedicated the Jenny Oropeza Global Studies Academy at the Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School. Shortly after taking office in 2000, then Assembly Member Oropeza became aware that the Alameda Corridor would open in 2002 and that all the planned bridges, designed to prevent cars from having to wait for trains to pass at street level, would be completed, except for the bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) in the community of Wilmington, which was the busiest route along the Alameda Corridor. The bridge to be built at that location would bisect the Equilon Refinery and was therefore the most complicated and expensive bridge to build, and there was not enough funding to complete the bridge. Senator Oropeza brought together the interested parties, including the Department of Transportation, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), the Equilon Refinery, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the City of Los Angeles to solve this problem of completing the bridge and was able to help facilitate $107 million in funding from a combination of sources that included state transportation funds, state Proposition 116 bond funds, federal demonstration funds, LACMTA funds, and railroad funds. (Note that the indicated bridge on Route 1 is also named after her) Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 115, Resolution Chapter 130, on August 28, 2014.
The bicycle pedestrian path on the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge on Route 710, in the County of Los Angeles, is named the "Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path". It was named in memory of Mark Llewellyn Bixby, who was a member of one of the founding families of the City of Long Beach. Bixby was also a past president of the Long Beach Rotary Club, which was instrumental in raising money to build Rotary Centennial Park, located on Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) and Junipero Avenue in the City of Long Beach. Bixby was also the director of the BikeFest Tour of Long Beach and was a vocal proponent of adding bicycle lanes to the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge. Tragically, Mark Bixby lost his life in a plane crash in 2011 at 44 years of age. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 100, Resolution Chapter 109, on September 4, 2012.
The portion of this route from Wardlow Road to the Pacific Coast Highway in the City of Long Beach is named the "Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Maria Cecilia Rosa Memorial Highway". It was named in memory of Deputy Maria Cecilia Rosa of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who was killed in the line of duty on March 28, 2006 at the age of 30, in the City of Long Beach. Deputy Rosa was a resident of the City of Long Beach and was deeply committed to education. She was due to graduate from the California State University, Long Beach, with her Bachelors Degree. Deputy Rosa is remembered as a young woman who strived for perfection in life. She had a captivating smile that would brighten even the darkest of days. She was an extremely caring individual who was always willing to go the extra mile to cheer up a friend. In addition, she was a woman who committed her life to her family, friends, and her career to Los Angeles County and the safety of its residents. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 34, Resolution Chapter 48, on 6/9/2009.
The portion of this route from Route 1 to Route 5 is named the "Long Beach Freeway". It was named by the State Highway Commission on November 18, 1954. Long Beach refers to the route's terminus in Long Beach. Long Beach was first applied to the development (because of its beaches) in the boom year, 1887. The route was originally to be called the "Los Angeles River Freeway".
The portion of I-710 from Route 91 approximately at post mile 12.97 to Alondra Boulevard approximately at post mile 13.94 in the County of Los Angeles is named the "Kevin Burrell and James MacDonald Memorial Highway". Kevin Michael Burrell and James Wayne MacDonald were police officers employed by the City of Compton, who dedicated their lives to keeping its citizens safe. Kevin Michael Burrell realized that being a police officer meant more than just making arrests; he possessed a level of unparalleled compassion and understanding, taking advantage of every opportunity to help those less fortunate, and was lovingly known as the “Gentle Giant”. James Wayne MacDonald was admired by his peers, had an amazing personality, and, although he was only required to work two shifts per month, chose to work two shifts per week. James Wayne MacDonald loved being a police officer and Kevin Michael Burrell was his favorite partner with which to ride. On February 22, 1993, Kevin Michael Burrell and James Wayne MacDonald, ages 29 and 24, respectively, while working as patrol car partners in the City of Compton, were fatally shot by a violent gang member during a traffic stop at the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue and Dwight Avenue. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 178, Res. Chapter 161, Statutes of 2016, on September 1, 2016.
The portion of I-710 between East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and Route 60 in the County of Los Angeles is named the Ruben Salazar Memorial Highway. This segment was named in memory of Ruben Salazar, who was born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, across the Rio Grande from El Paso on March 3, 1928. Eleven months later his parents, Luz Chavez and Salvador Salazar, a watch repairman, moved across the river to El Paso, Texas, where Ruben was raised. After high school he entered the United States Army, where he served a two-year tour of duty just before the Korean conflict. Out of the service and now an American citizen, Salazar entered the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and received his bachelor of arts in journalism in 1954. During his last two years as a student at UTEP he worked as a reporter for the El Paso Herald Post, where he demonstrated both great interest and skill in investigative reporting, While working as a reporter at the El Paso Herald Post, he became deeply aware of police mistreatment of Mexicans and wrote extensively on the brutality against Mexican-Americans in Texas prisons. After graduation, Salazar took a job with the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California. Three years later, he left the staff of the Press Democrat for a reportorial position with the San Francisco News. Having served his seven years of apprenticeship, in 1959 he moved south as a reporter on the city staff of the Los Angeles Times. During his six years at the Los Angeles Times in the city room, he persuaded his superiors to allow him to write a column, sometimes troublesome for the Times, in which he gave voice to the problems and concerns of eastside Chicanos. He continued to give evidence of his ability as a reporter, writing a series of articles on the Los Angeles Latino community in 1963, for which he received an award from the California State Fair, the Los Angeles Press Club, and the Equal Opportunity Foundation. In addition to his awards, the series also earned him a well-deserved reputation for conscientious and objective reporting. In 1965, Salazar was sent to cover the civil war in the Dominican Republic, where he described the views of the rebels and the reaction to the U.S. involvement. Later that year, Salazar was sent by the Times to Vietnam as a foreign correspondent to cover the rapidly escalating American involvement there, of special interest to the Latino community because of the proportionately large number of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. forces and among the casualties. He was one of two Times correspondents in Vietnam during the period of increased U.S. involvement. In late 1966, Ruben Salazar left Vietnam and was called back by the Times and placed as the bureau chief in Mexico City, thus becoming the first Mexican-American to hold such a position at a major newspaper. He covered stories throughout Latin America including the first conference of the Latin American Solidarity Organization in Cuba in 1967. In 1968, he covered a student demonstration in Mexico City when Mexican soldiers opened fire. In late 1968, Salazar returned to Los Angeles with a special assignment to cover the Mexican-American community, in which the Chicano movement was beginning to move into high gear. Aware of the increasing importance and rising militancy of Mexican-Americans, in the following year the Times took steps, involving Salazar, to focus more sharply on the Chicano community. In early 1970, he began writing a weekly column featured on the Friday Opinion page explaining and interpreting Chicano life and culture to the greater Los Angeles community. In January of 1970, Salazar decided to accept a position as news director of station KMEX-TV and planned to leave the Times. The response of the Times was to suggest that in his new position Salazar continue writing his weekly column. He decided he could handle both jobs and subsequently used both forums to articulate the many grievances that Mexican-Americans had nursed for so long. A political moderate, he nevertheless spoke out fearlessly, condemning racism, prejudice, and segregation. Abuses by the police became the special target of his hard-hitting weekly essays, and he repeatedly pointed out in his column the much higher than average Mexican-American casualty rate in the Vietnam War. As a result of his articles, he was under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI, and pressure was put on him to tone down his language. When the National Chicano Moratorium, a committee of Chicanos who opposed the Vietnam War, called a march for August 29, 1970, in Los Angeles, Ruben Salazar naturally was present at the event in his dual capacity. Approximately 20,000 members from all over the United States had gathered to decry the Vietnam War since Chicanos had the highest number of casualties in proportion to their population. With his crew from KMEX he covered the march from Belvedere Park to Laguna Park. As trouble began at a nearby liquor store, it quickly led to a confrontation between the police and marchers, which led to rioting and looting covering 28 blocks. The violence led to 200 arrests, 60 injured, and three deaths. As the day grew late into the afternoon, the riot moved east on Whittier Boulevard toward the Silver Dollar Cafe. Attempting to avoid the riot-ridden streets, Ruben Salazar and his news crew stopped to have a drink in the Silver Dollar Cafe. Shortly after they entered the Silver Dollar Cafe, a deputy fired a high-velocity 10-inch tear gas projectile meant for piercing walls, into the cafe and hit Salazar in the head. Ruben Salazar was killed instantly, suffering a projectile wound of the temple area causing massive injury to the brain. The subsequent 16-day coroner's inquest ruled Salazar's death a homicide, but there was never any legal action. Salazar's tragic death was a consequence of the contentious and often racially heated period of time. His informed, articulate, and level-headed voice for social change inspired many in the Latino community, and his legacy has encouraged Latinos to enter the field of journalism. In 1971, he was posthumously awarded a special Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his columns, which communicated the culture and alienation of Chicanos effectively and compassionately. He received the highest Raza accolade, a corrido describing his contributions to La Raza . Ruben Salazar's life and death has been recognized and honored with awards, scholarships, public schools, and community centers in his name. Most notably, after the controversy of his death had subsided, Laguna Park was renamed Salazar Park in his honor. In July of 1976, Salazar was honored by the California State University of Los Angeles in the renaming of South Hall to Ruben Salazar Memorial Hall. On the 10th anniversary of his death, his widow, Sally Salazar, was the guest of honor at the dedication of the Ruben Salazar Library in Santa Rosa, California. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 37, Resolution Chapter 78, on 7/12/2005.
Before 1954, the route was named the "Los Angeles River Freeway". The first segment opened in 1952. The Los Angeles River was named Rio de Porciuncula by the Portolá expedition, August 2, 1769, for it was the day of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Porciúncula (Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula). Portiuncula was the chapel in Assisi, Italy, cradle of the Franciscan Order. The full name of the river was recorded by Palou, December 10, 1773. The pueblo was founded in 1781 with the name Reina de los Angeles, but almost invariable appeared on maps and often in documents as Pueblo de los Angeles. Various forms of the name were used ("City of the Angels" in 1847) until the county and city became officially Los Angeles in 1850.
Near Route 710, although not on Route 710, is the Gerald Desmond Bridge". Gerald Desmond was a prominent Long Beach civic leader who served on the Long Beach City Council and as Long Beach City Attorney.
Bridge 53-958 on I-710, the I-710/Route 91 interchange, is named the "Edmond J. Russ Interchange". It was built in 1985, and was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 135, Chapter 162. [Note: According to the CalTrans logs, this bridge is actually on Route 110; thus the named interchange is at the Route 110/Route 91 junction.] Ed Russ is a former mayor of Gardena; during his term (which ended in 1982) he was able to push for the extension of the then Redondo Beach Freeway to the Route 110. This extension relieved the traffic that plagued Atresia Blvd from the end of the freeway at Broadway to Route 110. When the extension was completed in 1985, it was given the legislative name in his honor, but it was up to the private sector to produce the funds to make and install the signs for the interchange. It wasn't until 1998-99 that a group of Gardena businesspeople and citizens, led by the Gardena Valley News, began a campaign to raise the money needed. The signs were installed in the latter half of 1999.
Overcrossing number 53-822, which spans I-710 at Alondra Boulevard approximately at post mile 13.945 in the County of Los Angeles is named the "Dess K. Phipps Memorial Overcrossing". Dess K. Phipps was a police officer employed by the City of Compton who dedicated his life to keeping the citizens of the City of Compton safe. Dess K. Phipps was born in June 1925, in the City of Stidham in the County of McIntosh, Oklahoma, and grew up on a working farm in the City of Yuma, Arizona. He was a member of the United States Navy from June 16, 1943, to December 29, 1944, and was a veteran of World War II. At the age of 37, Dess K. Phipps was killed in the line of duty during a high speed vehicle pursuit of a criminal on October 12, 1962. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 178, Res. Chapter 161, Statutes of 2016, on September 1, 2016.
The I-5/I-710 interchange in Los Angeles County is officially named the "Marco Antonio Firebaugh Interchange". This interchange was named in memory of Marco Antonio Firebaugh, who at the age of 39 years was running for the California State Senate when he succumbed to health ailments on March 21, 2006. Born in Tijuana, Mexico on October 13, 1966, Firebaugh emigrated to the United States when he was a young boy. He worked hard to pay his own way through school and earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from the UCLA School of Law. He was the first in his family to attend college and was committed to the notion that free universal public education is the cornerstone of our democratic society and worked hard to improve educational opportunities for all California students. Firebaugh was elected to the California State Assembly at the age of 32 years; and he served in the California State Assembly from 1998 to 2004, representing the 50th Assembly District located in southeast Los Angeles County. During his tenure in the Assembly, Firebaugh was recognized for his impressive legislative and advocacy record on behalf of California's working families and their children, establishing him as a leader and role model in the Latino community. He demonstrated outstanding leadership in introducing legislation aimed at improving the lives of immigrants and low-income families including undocumented immigrants who come to California to work and give their children a better life. He authored air quality legislation that provides funding for the state's most important air emissions reductions programs and that ensures that state funding be targeted to low-income communities that are most severely impacted by air pollution. He also authored legislation funding a mobile asthma treatment clinic known as a Breathmobile to provide free screenings and treatment for school children in southeast Los Angeles and fought hard in the Legislature to make California the first state to outlaw smoking in a vehicle carrying young children to protect them from the hazards created by breathing secondhand smoke. In 2002, he championed AB540, which allowed undocumented California high school students to pursue a college education and pay in-state tuition fees. From 2002 to 2004, Firebaugh served as Chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus where he was responsible for managing the development of the Latino Caucus' annual "Agenda for California's Working Families" as a policy document that focuses on issues affecting California's diverse population. Because of his effectiveness both as a policymaker and political leader, Marco Antonio Firebaugh was appointed Majority Floor Leader in 2002, and served as Floor Leader from 2002 to 2004, making him the highest ranking Latino in the Assembly and one of the chief negotiators for Assembly Democrats. Firebaugh also served six years on the State Allocation Board, which provides funding for public school construction and modernization. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 142, Resolution Chapter 132, on 9/7/2006.
The interchange of I-10 and I-710 in the County of Los Angeles is named the "Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Thomas H. Pohlman Memorial Interchange". It was named in memory of Thomas H. Pohlman,a sheriff’s deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Deputy Sheriff Pohlman was born in July 1950, and was appointed as a sheriff’s deputy on May 29, 1973. On April 19, 1978, Deputy Sheriff Pohlman was on patrol when he smelled ether, used in the manufacture of the drug PCP, coming from a nearby house. As Deputy Sheriff Pohlman and his partner approached the house, a man bolted from the home. Deputy Sheriff Pohlman pursued the suspect on foot, while his partner went back to the squad car to radio for assistance. Deputy Sheriff Pohlman caught the suspect, and, while the suspect was being handcuffed, the suspect gained control of Deputy Sheriff Pohlman’s revolver and shot him. Deputy Sheriff Pohlman died at the scene. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 121, Res. Chapter 192, Statutes of 2016, 9/9/2016
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
Approved as 139(a) non-chargeable interstate in 1983; the portion from Ocean Blvd in Long Beach to Route 710 was approved as 139(b) non-chargeable milage in 1984. The portion from Route 10 to Route 210 is a subject of a long legal battle and is not yet constructed, except for the stub Route 710 at the I-210/Route 134/Route 710 interchange.
[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.
Overall statistics for Route 710:
This number is not assigned to a post-1964 route.
The routing between Riverside and Perris was resigned as US 395 in around 1935.
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