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Interstate Shield

Interstate 710

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Routing Routing

Rte 710State Shield Interstate Shield From Route 1 to Route 210 in Pasadena.

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.

Section 622.3 of the Streets and Highway Code explicitly authorizes relinquishment of the Pasadena stub, per SB 7 (Chapter 835, 10/21/2019):

(a) Upon a determination by the commission that it is in the best interest of the state to do so, the commission may, upon terms and conditions approved by it, relinquish to the City of Pasadena the portion of Route 710 within the jurisdictional limits of that city, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment.

(b) A relinquishment under this section shall become effective on the date following the county recorder’s recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.

(c) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, all of the following shall occur:

(1) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall cease to be a state highway.

(2) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.

(3) The City of Pasadena shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 710.

Note: SB 7 modified the definition of the route in the Freeway and Expressway system (Article 2 of the SHC) to, as of 1/1/2024, delete the gap between Alhambra Ave in Los Angeles and California Street in Pasadena (i.e., the space between the stubs) from the freeway and expressway system. This means that if the state wants a freeway in that segment, they have to start the route adoption process from scratch. SB 7 does not authorize relinquishment of the Alhambra stub, nor any portion of the unconstructed gap that is not in the City of Pasadena.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

Until July 1, 1964, this routing was signed as Route 15. When the Route 15 signage had to be applied to the new Interstate (I-15) 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." (which harkened back, origin-wise, to the original 1933 definition of LRN 167).  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. Note that the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive is where 7th Street veers to the E across the Shoemaker Bridge; this means that the Shoemaker Bridge and the "freeway" portion running down to the Long Beach Pier was NOT part of the State Highway System.

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 would have apparently been 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) mileage. There are some indications that this segment is defined with a state, not Interstate, shield.

To make it clear: The south end of I-710 follows the west riverbank, not the east riverbank (into downtown Long Beach, across the Shoemaker Bridge). 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 (however, ownership of the Shoemaker Bridge will be changing post 2020). Route 710 is supposed to follow the Long Beach Freeway down to the Harbor Scenic Drive cutoff south of Anaheim Street (now constructed freeway), and then follow Harbor Scenic Drive (again, now constructed freeway) to Ocean Blvd (Seaside Freeway) and then follow Ocean Blvd 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 extension across the Shoemaker Bridge (7th Street) towards the Queen Mary, Cruise Terminals, Aquarium and the parks is Shoreline Blvd (although the Queen Mary is also accessible via S Harbor Scenic Drive).

[In fact, the state did not construct the portion of I-710 S of Route 1, across the Shoemaker Bridge That portion was constructed to freeway standards by the City of Long Beach. The construction cost was $12 million.]

Unconstructed 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 in the STATUS section.

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.

In 2019, both AB 29 (Chapter 791, 10/21/2019) and SB 7 (Chapter 835, 10/21/2019) were chaptered, and SB 7, being chaptered last, took precedence. SB 7 changed the definition of the route in the freeway and expressway system to prepare for relinquishment of the Route 710 gap (note that it did not change the definition of the route itself):

(1) Route 47 to Route 1.

(2) Route 1 near the City of Long Beach to Route 10 near the City of Alhambra.

(3) Route 10 near the City of Alhambra to Route 210 near the City of Pasadena.

SB 7 explicitly requires, that as of 1/1/2024, items (2) and (3) are changed to

(2) Route 1 near the City of Long Beach to Route 10 near the City of Alhambra Alhambra Avenue in the City of Los Angeles.

(3) Route 10 near the City of Alhambra California Boulevard in the City of Pasadena to Route 210.

This explicitly deletes the unconstructed portion of Route 710 from the freeway and expressway system. Further, SB 7 added Section 622.3 to the SHC to read:

(a) Upon a determination by the commission that it is in the best interest of the state to do so, the commission may, upon terms and conditions approved by it, relinquish to the City of Pasadena the portion of Route 710 within the jurisdictional limits of that city, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment.

(b) A relinquishment under this section shall become effective on the date following the county recorder’s recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.

(c) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, all of the following shall occur:

(1) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall cease to be a state highway.

(2) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.

(3) The City of Pasadena shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 710.

The following freeway-to-freeway connections were never constructed:

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

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.

The Port of Los Angeles

The history of what became I-710 in the Port of Los Angeles is a bit convoluted, and centers around LRN 167, LRN 231, and the future Route 47 and Route 103 as well.

In 1933, the route from "Long Beach via Atlantic Boulevard to [LRN 26] near Monterey Park" was added to the state highway system. In 1935, it was added to the highway code as LRN 167, with the same routing. Note the starting point of the route is not the Port of Los Angeles -- it is Pacific Coast Highway (US 101A, US 6) in the city of Long Beach.

Leg Rte 231?In 1949, Chapter 1261 defined LRN 231 as

“[LRN 165] in San Pedro to [LRN 167] in Long Beach, via the mainland portion of Long Beach Outer Harbor and Terminal Island, subject to the following conditions:

1. Except as provided in paragraph number 2, no expenditure shall be made from state highway funds for the acquisition of rights of way for or construction, improvement, or maintenance of said highway until the following conditions have been met:

(a) The Federal Government shall have made available all funds necessary for the construction of said route, other than funds provided under paragraph 2.

(b) The Federal Government and the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach shall have granted a sufficient and adequate right of way without cost to the State of California for that portion of said route traversing lands owned or controlled by each of them.

(c) The authorized representatives of the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the appropriate agency of the Federal Government shall have approved the proposed alignment and the proposed location of all major structures on the route submitted by the State Department of Public Works.

2. Any city or county may contribute to, and the California Highway Commission may allocate monies from the State Highway Fund for the improvement of portions of [LRN 231] on the mainland when such improvement is found necessary to complete and integrated system of freeways between San Pedro, Long Beach, and the Civic Center in the City of Los Angeles.

3. If funds from sources other than state highway funds have not been made available for the construction on all portions of said [LRN 231] that are not on the mainland prior to January 15, 1953, said [LRN 231] shall on that date cease to be a state highway and this section shall have no further force or effect. ”

In 1957, Chapter 1911 extended the origin of LRN 167 to [LRN 165] (Harbor Freeway): “[LRN 165] in San Pedro Long Beach to Huntington Drive via Long Beach”. This seemed to absorb the former LRN 231, and created the routing for future Route 7/I-710 to San Pedro instead of Long Beach. But as one can see from the map, the routing wasn't quite the current routing yet.

In 1958, Chapter 74 added the San Pedro-Terminal Island Bridge to LRN 167: "[LRN 165] in San Pedro to Huntington Drive via Long Beach, and including a bridge with at least four lanes from San Pedro at or near Boschke Slough to Terminal Island"

By 1960, the routing in the port had assumed the current approach running to Route 47 (portions of which were LRN 167 across the Vincent Thomas Bridge).

The Los Angeles River Freeway

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).
(Source: KCET — History of the 710 Freeway, 2/12/2014)

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 Parkways.
(Source: Daniel Thomas)

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.

1953 MapBy 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.
(Source: KCET — History of the 710 Freeway, 2/12/2014)

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. The initial 2.3-mile freeway segment opened between Pacific Coast Highway and 223rd Street on December 10, 1952. Separation structures have been built at Pacific Coast Highway and at Willow Street. Completion of the second section was in 1953.
(Source: Metro Library: This Day in Transportation History, 12/10/2019; January-February1953 California Highways and Public Works)

Pasadena

As defined in 1933, LRN 167 (future Route 7 / I-710) extended north only to "[LRN 26] near Monterey Park", which was US 60 / US 70 / US 99 (future I-10).

In 1949, Chapter 1467 extended LRN 167 to  [LRN 205] (Pasadena Freeway): "Long Beach to [LRN 205] in South Pasadena"

In 1951, Chapter 1562 truncated the terminus of LRN 167 to Huntington Drive: "… to Huntington Drive."

In 1959, Chapter 1062 extended LRN 167 to LRN 9 (Route 118 at the time, future I-210): "[LRN 165] in San Pedro to [LRN 9] 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". As such, the plans for the extension to the future I-210 Foothill Freeway were on the books since 1959.

Status Status

General

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.
(Source: LA Times, 6/2/2015, LAMagazine, 6/2/2015)

Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Gerald Desmond Bridge (~ LA 4.525)

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 originally 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.
(Source: "Bridge poses a tight squeeze for cargo ships", Los Angeles Times, 2/9/2010)

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.

Gerald Desmond Bridge Route AdoptionIn 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.
(Source: Curbed LA, 12/13/11)

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.
(Source: LA Daily News, 10/6/13)

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 wires.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 11/16/13)

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.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 6/27/14)

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.

In December 2017, it was reported that state, local and federal officials joined construction crews for a “topping out” ceremony to celebrate the completion of the two 515-foot-tall towers for the new Port of Long Beach bridge, Port of Long Beach reports. The towers will be the centerpieces of California’s first cable-stayed bridge for vehicular traffic, which will be one of the tallest of its kind in the nation. In addition to the completion of the towers, stretches of the new bridge’s westbound lanes have been completed and construction of the eastbound lanes has began. The new bridge will include six traffic lanes and four emergency shoulders, a higher clearance to accommodate large cargo ships, more efficient transition ramps and connectors to improve traffic flow, and a bike and pedestrian path with scenic overlooks. The $1.47 billion bridge project, which is expected to be completed in 2019, is a joint effort between Caltrans and the Port of Long Beach, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The replacement project enables the Gerald Desmond Bridge to remain in use while the new bridge is under construction.
(Source: Equipment World, 12/13/2017)

In July 2018, it was reported that several large excavators equipped with jackhammers and claws tore down the elevated ramp that connects eastbound Ocean Boulevard to northbound I-710. The demolition marks the project's final long-term road closure. Eastbound traffic leaving Terminal Island and San Pedro to northbound I-710 will use the new bridge when the new bridge is complete.
(Source: NBC LA 7/5/2018)

In December 2018, it was reported that one of the two Pico Ave offramps (~ LA 5.215) from the current I-701 EB was being closed permanently. Eastbound traffic coming off the Gerald Desmond has been funneled onto Pico Avenue to get around the construction site. That still will be the case, but now there will be only one offramp from Pico Avenue. The other offramp is being closed permanently to clear space for bridge construction. Drivers still can get to I-710 or Ocean Boulevard going to downtown Long Beach from Pico Avenue. As motorists leave the bridge, those going north to I-710 should stay in the left lanes while traffic to downtown should stay in the right lane.
(Source: Long Beach Press Telegram, 11/29/2018)

Texas U TurnIn July 2019, it was reported that an innovative traffic feature of the new bridge under construction at the Port of Long Beach is scheduled to open early on Saturday, July 20, 2019 enabling trucks and other vehicles to make a safe and free-flowing U-turn at the west end of the project. The “port access undercrossing” is a second tunnel near the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Route 47 on Terminal Island. This “Texas U-turn,” so named because it’s a common feature at intersections in the Lone Star state, enables vehicles traveling on one side of a one-way frontage road to make a U-turn onto the opposite frontage road without stopping at a traffic signal. Detour for traffic on Pier T AvenueWith the opening of the new undercrossing, trucks and other vehicles leaving the Pier T complex and heading east over the existing bridge to reach the northbound I-710 Freeway will now take a new route. Starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 19, construction crews will permanently close the eastbound Ocean Boulevard loop onramp from Pier T Avenue on Terminal Island. The closure is needed so crews can build new roadways on the south side of Ocean Boulevard. The detour for all vehicles headed east will take vehicles to the port access undercrossing. When fully completed, the new cable-stayed bridge will include six traffic lanes and four emergency shoulders, a higher clearance to accommodate large cargo ships, a bike and pedestrian path with scenic overlooks, and more efficient transition ramps and connectors to improve traffic flow.
(Source: AJOT, 7/17/2019)

Route 710: Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Shoemaker Bridge Replacement (07-LA-710 PM 6.0/6.4)

Shoemaker Bridge Replacement (07-LA-710 PM 6.0/6.4)The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, appears to allocate $14,000K in Advance Project Development Element funds for PPNO 4071, Rt 710 S.Early Action-replace Shoemaker Br (LA 6.402).

In June 2020, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding 07-LA-710 PM 6.0/6.4 – Los Angeles County Shoemaker Bridge Replacement Project. Replace bridge and other improvements. (FEIR) (PPNO 4071) (EA 27300) (STIP). The Project will replace the Shoemaker Bridge and add pedestrian, bicycle, and other street enhancements. The project is located in the southern end of Route 710 in the City of Long Beach. On April 21, 2020, the Long Beach City Council adopted a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Project and found that the Project would not have a significant effect on the environment after mitigation. The Project is estimated to cost $30,700,000 and is funded through design with State Transportation Improvement Program Funds ($14,000,000) and Measure R Funds ($16,700,000). Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2022-23.
(Source: June 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(12))

According to the City of Long Beach, the project proposes to replace the Shoemaker Bridge (West Shoreline Drive) in the City of Long Beach, California. The Shoemaker Bridge Replacement Project (proposed project) is an Early Action Project of the I-710 Corridor Improvement Project and is located at the southern end of I-710 in the City of Long Beach and is bisected by the Los Angeles River. The purpose of the proposed project is to improve existing traffic safety and operations; increase multi-modal connectivity within the project limits and surrounding area; enhance Complete Streets elements by providing bicycle, pedestrian, and streetscape improvements on major thoroughfares; and, address non-standard features and design deficiencies. Three Alternatives are being evaluated as part of the proposed project:
(Source: Shoemaker Bridge Project Page; Shoemaker Bridge Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment)

  1. A No Build Alternative.
  2. Replace the existing Shoemaker Bridge over the Los Angeles River with a new bridge located just south of the existing bridge. Re-purpose the existing bridge for non-motorized transportation and recreational use.
  3. Replace the existing Shoemaker Bridge over the Los Angeles River with a new bridge located just south of the existing bridge. Remove the existing bridge.

Alternatives 2 and 3 will include the evaluation of design options for a roundabout or a “Y” intersection at the easterly end of the bridge. The Build Alternatives would include bicycle and pedestrian uses along the south side of the new bridge and also provide improvements along associated roadway connectors to downtown Long Beach, West Shoreline Drive from I-710, and portions of 3rd Street, 6th Street, 7th Street, and West Broadway from Cesar E. Chavez Park to Magnolia Avenue. The proposed improvements may include additional street lighting, restriping, turn lanes, bicycle, pedestrian, and streetscape improvements. Additionally, the Build Alternatives evaluate the impacts from the closure of the 9th and 10th Street ramp connections into downtown Long Beach.
(Source: Shoemaker Bridge Project Page; Shoemaker Bridge Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment)

The Preferred Alternative, Alternative 3 (Design Option A), includes the complete removal of the existing Shoemaker bridge and construction of the new bridge with a roundabout on the eastern end of the proposed bridge. Local road improvements would occur throughout the Project limits including those on West Shoreline Drive, West 3rd Street, Ocean Boulevard, Golden Shore/Golden Avenue, West Seaside Avenue, West Broadway, West 6th Street, West 7th Street, West 9th Street, West 10th Street, and Anaheim Street. The new Shoemaker Bridge would consist of multiple structures, with spans that cross the LA River, the northbound (NB) lanes of Route 710, and the LA River and Rio Hondo (LARIO) Trail. The new ramps would be located approximately 500 feet (measured from centerline) south of the existing Shoemaker Bridge. 
(Source: Shoemaker Bridge Project Page; Shoemaker Bridge Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment)

As of the time of the initiation of the project, Shoemaker Bridge is under jurisdiction of the City of Long Beach and serves as the extension of West Shoreline Drive within downtown Long Beach to the I-710 corridor. I-710 transitions into Route 710 south of Pacific Coast Highway. Since the existing Shoemaker Bridge is within City right-of-way (ROW), the City serves as the lead agency under the CEQA.  However, since the new Shoemaker Bridge would require federal funding and would be transferred to Caltrans for future ownership and maintenance, Caltrans serves as a Responsible Agency under CEQA as well as the lead agency under NEPA. The proposed Project is a stand-alone project that proposes to address design and safety deficiencies associated with the existing Shoemaker Bridge and improve  circulation and connectivity within downtown Long Beach. Even though the Project is a stand-alone project, its design would accommodate the future construction of the I-710 Corridor Project.
(Source: Shoemaker Bridge Project Page; Shoemaker Bridge Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment)

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.

Long Beach to Monterey Park

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.

[Inst 710 Study]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:

"California's financial problems have stalled indefinitely a long-awaited $400- million plan to construct new barriers and shoulders along the Long Beach Freeway, sparking fresh concerns about safety on the truck-clogged route. The project would improve safety on most of the outmoded 24-mile freeway, including the area where six people recently died in a big-rig crash. Most of the freeway's medians and shoulders are narrower than state standards, and old wood-and-metal median barriers have not been replaced with the concrete barriers recommended for congested roadways with narrow medians, state Department of Transportation officials said. "

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.

710 CorridorIn 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.

Truck Corridor AlternativesIn 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.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 3/16/2015)

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.
(Source: Los Angeles Times 3/18/2016; Metro Board Report 3/24/2016)

In July 2017, it was reported that a new set of alternatives to improve I-710 between Ocean Boulevard in downtown Long Beach and Route 60 was released in an environmental document by Caltrans. One alternative would add a general purpose lane to the freeway, while another would also create a “Clean Emissions” freight corridor for use by zero emission or near zero emission trucks. Both alternatives propose other safety improvements to the freeway and interchanges, as well as air quality and health benefits for communities along the corridor. The document’s formal name is the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIR/SDEIS). The RDEIR/SDEIS was prepared by Caltrans in cooperation with Metro, the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the Interstate 5 Joint Powers Authority. The RDEIR/SDEIS may be viewed online at www.dot.ca.gov/d7/env-docs.
(Source: Metro "The Source", 7/20/2017)

In October 2017, it was reported that a public meeting on the EIR highlighted the fact that the changes to the I-710 corridor will be the hardest on the low-income areas of East LA. At the meeting, resident after resident angrily said they are tired of not being listened to and their East Los Angeles neighborhoods being forced to absorb the brunt of the region’s transportation problems. County Supervisor Hilda Solis represents neighborhoods and cities in the project area and sits on Metro’s Board of Directors, and called the public meeting. She briefly circulated among the crowd before the start of the meeting, which she opened by saying her office, Caltrans and Metro are committed to working with the community, but then left before the public comment portion of the meeting. Eastside residents have long feared Caltrans and Metro would take homes in their neighborhoods for the project and the alternatives added in the recirculated report show it could happen. If chosen, Options 3A and 3B under Alternatives 5 and 7 respectively, would hit residents on Sydney Drive in unincorporated East L.A. near the Commerce border the hardest. Dozens of homes could be slated for removal or the freeway widened to within a few feet of their front door step. Also potentially impacted are residents in the Ayers neighborhood in Commerce, but the attention was on East Los Angeles, where the crowd had one message for transportation officials, “Leave East L.A. alone.” According to the presentation by Metro spokesman Ernesto Chavez, the I-710 project will improve traffic safety, air quality and prepare for growth in the goods movement. It would also improve public health by reducing air pollutants from trucks through the I-710 Clean Emissions Trucks Program. However, the crowd had a sense of injustice, noting that plans to expand the I-710 north through Pasadena and San Marino were scrapped because those more financially well-to-do communities didn’t want the disruption to their communities. The sense of injustice is not without merit. It’s even acknowledged in the Draft EIR (S.5.3.3 – Environmental Justice Build Alternatives), which cites “disproportionately high impact and adverse impacts on minority and low-income populations in the Study Area,” even after taking into account the overall “beneficial effects” of the project “on the surrounding communities and I-710 corridor users when compared with current conditions.” Funding to “alleviate project-related impacts to environmental justice communities” is recommended. At this point, however, according to Chavez the biggest obstacle to all of the proposals when it comes up for review in February 2018 is lack of funding. According to the I-710 Draft EIR, Alternative 5C would cost $6.5 billion to build while Alternative 7 would cost $11 billion. Metro and Caltrans will provide $1.2 billion towards funding, according to Chavez, leaving residents to question where the rest of the money will come from. Work will be done in stages, explained Chavez, meaning they don’t have to have all the money upfront. His words did not sit well with residents like Sylvia Corona, who complained her neighborhood would probably get the short end of stick. “The nicer areas get all the funding,” the 42-year resident of East L.A. warned her neighbors. “Once they reach East L.A. they’ll run out of funds and we’ll be left to deal with the closure of roads, dust and more traffic.” [Note: The injustice is well merited. Caltrans has not treated low income neighborhoods in Los Angeles well in the past, slicing through them with the Harbor and Santa Ana freeways.]
(Source: EGP News, 10/26/2017)

In February 2018, it was reported that, in a report to the agency's board of directors, Metro staff urged support for a massive, $6-billion proposal that would add a lane in each direction along I-710 between Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach and Route 60 in East Los Angeles. The price tag is one of the largest for a freeway widening project in county history. The proposal calls for changes to 24 major streets that cross I-710, as well as new interchanges with Route 91, I-5 and I-405. A new, separated lane would allow truckers to bypass commuter traffic near I-405. Transportation officials say the widening is necessary because a soaring number of trucks is cramming each day onto an inefficient route that needs to be modernized. Transportation and environmental activists — many of whom have fought the project for years — say Metro's preferred alternative would not do enough to reduce emissions along a corridor known as the "diesel death zone" and would displace people in some of Southern California's poorest and most polluted areas. Caltrans and Metro would seize 109 homes and 158 businesses to expand the freeway, displacing an estimated 436 people. Construction would have a disproportionate effect on poor residents who are black and Latino, a Caltrans environmental analysis found. The proposal has been under study for three years and is cheaper than the other option Metro and Caltrans are considering: four elevated, zero-emission truck lanes that would cost $10 billion and displace about 484 people.
(Source: LA Times, 2/13/2018)

A bit later in February 2018, it was reported that, as part of the $6 billion widening of I-710, a Metro committee is asking the transit agency to add a lane dedicated to electric vehicles — cars, buses and trucks — which would use wireless power transmission pads placed in the roadway to recharge their batteries as they travel. While wireless charging is being used at transit yards, including in the Antelope Valley to power electric buses, the notion of a freeway lane embedded with devices that continuously recharge a moving vehicle’s battery pack would be a first in the United States. Janice Hahn, an LA County Supervisor, noted in a written statement that these so-called “rechargeable roadways” are under construction today in China, Israel and Norway. By the time the 19-mile, I-710 improvement project, stretching from Long Beach to Route 60 in East Los Angeles, is complete in 2040, such technology will be commonplace, she said.

In March 2018, the Metro board acted on the recommendation: it unanimously approved a plan to revamp I-710 from Long Beach to East Los Angeles, but it’s holding off on the most costly and contentious part of the plan: widening much of the route to five lanes in each direction. Instead, the board approved fast-tracking portions of the plan that would be cheaper to implement and wouldn’t result in displacement for residents and business owners in areas close to the freeway. The board still needs to nail down the projects, but they could include parks, air filters in schools, and road improvements near the freeway. The board also approved a motion to create a working group to study how to reduce emissions along the entire 19-mile freeway—notorious for its negative health effects on residents who live close by. The board also asked Metro CEO Phil Washington to come up with a plan to quickly phase out freeway access for smog-producing diesel trucks, mandating instead that trucking companies use near-zero, and eventually zero-emission, trucks to haul goods along the route. The board’s decision pushes forward with the environmental review process for a $6 billion project that would widen the freeway between I-405 and Route 60, overhauling numerous entrances and exits along the way. Funds for the full I-710 project aren’t yet in place, and members of the board stressed that the decision does not give Caltrans a green light to begin widening the freeway.
(Source: Curbed LA, 3/1/2018)

Route 710 — Other Improvements

The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, authorized $5,500,000 for High Priority Project #3773: Reconstruct I-710 interchanges at I-405, at Route 91, and at I-105.

Route 91 Connector Vertical Clearance (07-LA-710 PM 12.6/13.0)

The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Bridge Restoration item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 07-LA-710 PM 12.6/13.0 PPNO 4967 Proj ID 0716000017 EA 31910. Route 710 in Long Beach, at the northbound Route 710 to eastbound Route 91 connector, below Artesia Boulevard Overcrossing No. 53-0820 and E91-N710 Connector Overcrossing No. 53-2241G. Lower profile of connector toachieve standard vertical clearance. Programmed in FY20-21, with construction scheduled to start in April 2022. Total project cost is $8,764K, with $3,270K being capital (const and right of way) and $5,494K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.),
(Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

In June 2020, the CTC approved the following support allocation for this project: 07-LA-710 12.6/13.0 PPNO 4967 ProjID 0716000017 EA 31910. I-710 in Long Beach, at the northbound Route 710 to eastbound Route 91 connector, below Artesia Boulevard Overcrossing No. 53-0820 and E Route 91-N Route 710 Connector Overcrossing No. 53-2241G. Lower profile of connector to achieve standard vertical clearance. Allocation: PS&E $2,468,000; R/W Sup $43,000
(Source: June 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2b) #22)

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).
(Source: Los Angeles Times, "A smooth idea for the 710 Freeway", 2009-09-30)

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 (~ LA 17.397 to LA 26.399) 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 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 (~ LA 21.965) 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.

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.

Misspelling on I-710In November 2014, it was reported that a subcontractor installed a new sign for the Olympic Boulevard exit (~ LA 23.428) 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.
(Source: LA Times, 11/24/2014)

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.

Monterey Park to Pasadena (Constructed Portions)

No status updates.

Route 710 "Gap" Completion / Route 710 Corridor (I-10 to Valley Blvd to Del Mar / Northern Stub)

Early History: Pre 1964

1964 710 RoutingThe 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.

Michael Ballard has a page with pictures of the Route 710 gap and stubs.

The detail below summarizes a long-standing, highly contentious back and forth. The April 1998 Record of Decision sums it up well:

The California Route 710 Freeway project is not a typical highway project. It provides a vital link in the nation’s most severely congested freeway system. It also causes impacts of a magnitude that is unusual in today’s highway program. Both proponents and opponents of the project have pursued their respective interests very forcefully, with lawsuits on each side.

Rte 710 TimelineStreetsblog-LA published a nice timeline of the Route 710 project. Another timeline can be found on the Metro site. South Pasadena also has a good timeline.

In 1933, the Department of Highways (DOH, later known as the California Department of Transportation or Caltrans) defined what was to become Route 710 as LRN 167. Here's the history of that route from this site's entry on LRN 167 (indented), with some additional annotation:

In 1933, the route from "Long Beach via Atlantic Boulevard to [LRN 26] near Monterey Park" was added to the state highway system. In 1935, it was added to the highway code as LRN 167, with the same routing.

In 1947 (1st ex. sess.), Chapter 11 kept the same endpoints, but introduced a discontinuity at (former) Route 245/US 101: "(a) Long Beach to [LRN 166]; (b) (a) above, near Los Angeles River to [LRN 26] via Atlantic Boulevard"

In 1949, Chapter 1467 combined the segments and extend the route to [LRN 205] (Pasadena Freeway): "Long Beach to [LRN 205] in South Pasadena"

In 1951, Chapter 1562 truncated the terminus to Huntington Drive: "… to Huntington Drive."

On July 24, 1953, the California Highway Commission adopted the location for the Long Beach Freeway from the Santa Ana Freeway to the Northerly terminus of the route at Huntington Drive.

In 1957, Chapter 1911 extended the origin to [LRN 165] (Harbor Freeway): “[LRN 165] in San Pedro Long Beach to Huntington Drive via Long Beach

In 1958, Chapter 74 added the San Pedro-Terminal Island Bridge: "[LRN 165] in San Pedro to Huntington Drive via Long Beach, and including a bridge with at least four lanes from San Pedro at or near Boschke Slough to Terminal Island"

In 1959, Chapter 1062 extended to LRN 9: "[LRN 165] in San Pedro to Huntington Drive [LRN 9] 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" (This was the result of the 1959 freeway and expressway plan)

The Department of Highways began location studies in 1960. On April 21, 1960 the state formally notified the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Alhambra that studies were being initiated on the section of the Long Beach Freeway from Huntington Drive to the Foothill Freeway.

The Route 7 Era: Early Freeway Planning and Corridor Studies (1963-1993)

1983 DEIR Rte 7In the 1964 "Great Renumbering", the legislature changed LRN 167 (which was signed as Route 15) to Route 7, and issued its Project Report VII-232 (dated 2/19/1964) identifying seven alignments. During May 1964 hearings, it was suggested that the connection to I-210 be through Figueroa Canyon, but that was later dropped from consideration Following a couple of public hearings in Pasadena, the California Highway Commission (CHC) adopted the Green-Red-Green Line as documented in their report and findings dated 11/18/1964. This later was referred to as the “Meridian Route” (Huntington Drive to I-210).

The Long Beach Freeway opened between I-10 and Valley Blvd. in February 1965. The City of Los Angeles signed the Freeway Agreement in April 1965. Alhambra followed suit in May 1966. In February 1967, the City of Pasadena approved the "straight through" alignment requiring taking the Neighborhood Church, as recommended by Victor Gruen Associates. This was the basis for the Freeway Agreement executed by Pasadena on March 30, 1967. This was the "Meridian Avenue Line". The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the state-adopted route in June 1967. South Pasadena requested a reconsideration, which was denied. Second and third requests for reconsideration in 1966 and 1967 were also denied.

In November 1969, the CHC directed the DOH to study the Westerly Route proposed by South Pasadena.

In the 1950s until 1978, Caltrans began purchasing more than 500 private houses and lots in Los Angeles, Alhambra, South Pasadena, and Pasadena with a plan to demolish them and build a surface freeway connecting Route 7 (later renumbered Route 710) in Alhambra to the I-210 in Pasadena.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law in January 1970, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was signed into law in November 1970.

DOH issued its Adopted Line Report in February 1972. Pasadena accepted the “Adopted Line” in March 1972. South Pasadena resolved to recommend the “Westerly Route” for the Route 7 (Route 710) extension in April 1972. CHC reaffirmed its adopted alignment the same month and concluded that the Westerly Route was not feasible in November 1972.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) was formed in January 1973 and released the EIR (I-10 to Huntington Drive) the same month. South Pasadena, et.al. sued to stop construction, also the same month, pending compliance with NEPA & CEQA. Construction was enjoined in 1973. After the injunction was issued in 1973, FHWA and Caltrans started the EIS process. The project has been analyzed in one Draft EIS, three Supplemental Draft EIS’s, one Final EIS, seven Section 4(f) Evaluations, and several Reevaluations.

The Final Report, Alignment Selection, and The Injunction (1993-1999)

1984 Rte 710 Proposed AlignmentsThe June 1993 Final Report from the Route 710 Meridian Variation Enhancement and Mitigation Advisory Committee recommended several mitigation measures which were adopted by Caltrans and resulted in changes to the preferred alternative identified in the FEIS. The refined preferred alternative was then called the Meridian Variation Alternative Reduced design variation. Notification of the Meridian Variation Enhancement and Mitigation Advisory Committee report availability was published in the Federal Register on July 9, 1993. The basic revision was the reduction of the design width of the facility’s cross section from 176 feet to 142, trucks were banned from the freeway except for local deliveries and the elimination of a proposed interchange between Route 710 and Route 110.

On January 15, 1993, before the Meridian Variation Enhancement and Mitigation Advisory Committee issued its Final Report, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) referred the Route 710 project to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) due to their concerns about the impact to historic properties and adequate evaluation of a Low-Build Alternative. The CEO did not accept the referral, but instead recommended that FHWA and ACHP work together on designing an acceptable methodology to update the historic inventory and to identify and evaluate one technically feasible Low-Build proposal.

After the Meridian Variation Enhancement and Mitigation Advisory Committee Final Report in June 1993, FHWA and Caltrans continued to seek ways to further reduce impacts of the project In a letter dated November 20,1995, the Keeper of the National Register determined that the Short Line Villa Tract Historic District was eligible for the National Register. Various design modifications, depressed profiles and alignment shifts were considered and reviewed in attempt to avoid and minimize impacts through this District. It was found that a shift in alignment will fully avoid any taking of the District. The shift will be about 400 feet from the original alignment at the widest point of departure. The 3700 feet (0.7 miles) of shift varies from zero feet near Huntington Drive to 400 feet near the Short Line Villa Tract Historic District and back to zero feet near Summit Drive. It has been determined that 116 properties (including a 43-apartment complex) which would have been taken by the original alignment would be spared. This design change is a further modification to the Meridian Variation Alternative Reduced design variation, and was referred to as the Meridian Variation Alternative Reduced with Shift design variation. Public outreach then occurred from December 27,1995 to January 11, 1996.

On October 3, 1997, a meeting of the impacted communities, key Federal agencies, and interested congressional representatives was held by the FHWA to discuss a potential approach for approving a Record of Decision (ROD) and advancing the project to final design. Based on comments received at that meeting and afterwards, the approach was refined and is incorporated in the April 1998 ROD. That decision was to select a modified version of the Meridian Variation Alternative as described in the FEIS, named the Depressed Meridian Variation Alternative Reduced with Shift design variation. This name reflects the adoption of the general alignment of the Meridian Variation Alternative with modifications that include a reduced highway width, a shift to avoid the Short Line Villa Tract Historic District and include a commitment to further depress the highway in the El Sereno and South Pasadena area. Each modification was based on a process to reduce overall impacts of the project. This selected alternative involves completing the Route 710 freeway gap between I-10, in the city of Alhambra and I-210 in the city of Pasadena, a distance of 6.2 miles (4.5 miles unconstructed). The freeway will also pass through the cities of Los Angeles (El Sereno community) and South Pasadena. The freeway will have six mixed-flow lanes and two high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes. Local service interchanges will be provided at various locations (Hellman Avenue and Valley Boulevard in the city of Alhambra, Alhambra Avenue/Mission Road and Huntington Drive in the city of Los Angeles, and Del Mar Boulevard in the city of Pasadena). The selected alternative will closely follow the alignment of the Meridian Variation Alternative identified as the preferred alternative in the FEIS. Starting on the southerly terminus at I-10, it will follow the alignment of the existing Long Beach Freeway northerly to Valley Boulevard. From Valley Boulevard to Huntington Drive, the alignment will generally parallel and run just west of the Los Angeles city limits. North of Huntington Drive, the alignment will approximately follow Meridian Avenue to Bank Street. At this point, the alignment will shift westward and run between Orange Grove Boulevard and Prospect Street north to the Arroyo Seco Parkway. The alignment will continue to parallel the now eastward-curving alignment of Orange Grove Boulevard to the Pasadena city limits, where it will continue shifting eastward to join with Pasadena Avenue at Madeline Street From here, the project will follow Pasadena Avenue north to Del Mar Boulevard, where it will connect to the existing Long Beach Freeway stub connecting to I-210/Route 134. The freeway is depressed for about 85% of the newly constructed 4.5 mile section and is fully depressed through Pasadena and South Pasadena except for the structure over Route 110. The freeway is depressed in virtually all of the residential areas. Approximately 25% of the 4.5 mile remaining gap closure is in cut-and-cover tunnels. There were loads of modification and conditions, all of which are detailed in the Record of Decision, April 1998.

The following were some of the alternatives in the FEIS, in addition to the "No Build" alternative:

Other alternatives that were eliminated as noted in the Record of Decision were:

  1. Westerly Plan B (1976 SDEIS page 49, and FEIS page 11-44)
  2. ACHP A (1986 SDEIS page 11-16)
  3. ACHP B-C (1986 SDEIS page 11-18, and FEIS page II-55)
  4. ACHP B-D {1986 SDEIS page 11-13, and FEIS page 11-62}
  5. ACHP E (1986 SDEIS page 11-11, and FEIS page 11-70)
  6. ACHP E-B-D {1986 SDEIS page 11-14, and FEIS page 11-74}
  7. Westerly Unmodified Plan B-C (1976 SDEIS page 49, and FEIS page 11-78)
  8. Cultural Resources Bypass {1976 SDEIS page 101, and FEIS page 11- 84}
  9. Atlantic Boulevard (1976 SDEIS page 121, and FEIS page 11-93)
  10. Huntington Drive-Main Street (1976 SDEIS page 122, and FEIS page 11-95)
  11. Pine Street (1976 SDEIS page 122, and FEIS page 97)
  12. Dorchester I (FEIS page 11-99)
  13. Dorchester II (FEIS page 11-102)
  14. Dorchester III (FEIS page 11-104)
  15. One-Way Couplet (FEIS page 11-106)
  16. Historic Preservation Bypass (1986 SDEIS page 11-16, and FEIS page 11-108)
  17. Partial Completion (1976 SDEIS page 69, and FEIS page 11-111)
  18. Raymond/Arroyo Couplet (FEIS page 11-119)
  19. Transit Only (1974 DEIS page 253, and FEIS page 11-140)
  20. 8-Lane Meridian (1974 DEIS page 139, and FEIS page 11-142)
  21. 8-Lane Westerly (1974 DEIS page 201, and FEIS page 11-144)

In 1999 U.S. District Court Judge Pregerson issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Caltrans from proceeding with the Route 710 Freeway Project. Judge Pregerson’s lengthy opinion identified numerous, substantial violations of federal law that would have to be remedied prior to completing the project, including violations of the Clean Air Act, Environmental Protection Act, and Historic Preservation Act. No attempt has been made by the defendants to satisfy the violations found by Judge Pregerson. FHWA rescinded their ROD IN 2003. In 2004 the CTC withdrew its Notice of Determination (NOD).

The New Millennium: Engineering and Updating the EIR (2000-2013)

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 2002, with plans to build a surface road connecting the two freeways shelved, Caltrans decided to move forward with a tunnel alternative. In 2004, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority selected a team of consultants, led by the engineering firm Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Quade & Douglas to conduct a feasibility study for the tunnel. The narrow scope of the study focused on connecting the freeway stubs in Alhambra and Pasadena, and failed to analyze the needs of the surrounding region. Metro issued its Route 710 Tunnel Technical Feasibility Assessment Report in 2006.
(Sources for the above: Record of Decision, April 1998; WestPasadena Residents Association, Response to DEIR (Historical Overview), 8/3/2015; Long Beach Freeway, Route 710 (formerly Route 7), Los Angeles County Draft EIS, 12/23/1974; LosAngeles Times, 4/27/1986; Long Beach Freeway, Route 710 (formerly Route 7), Los Angeles Final EIR, Volume 2, 1992; Route710 Third Draft EIR Supplement, 1986)

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.

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.

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 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.

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.
(Source: Whittier Daily News, April 7, 2007)

[710 Tunnel Study]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 show to the right.

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 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:
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 11/17/2009)

Zone 1 (Northeast L.A.): There is one Superfund site in the northwest portion of the zone which could be a source of contaminated soil and groundwater in the tunnel. There is also a possibility of encountering naturally occurring gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide. There are no active faults in the zone.

Zone 2 (Northeast L.A.): The active Raymond fault crosses the zone and there is also the potential of encountering naturally occurring gases. Some soil and groundwater contamination could result in hazardous materials being encountered.

Zone 3 (South Pasadena/Pasadena): The Raymond and San Rafael faults are groundwater barriers in this area, and there is one active and two potentially active faults in the area. There are two places with minor soil contamination in the northern limits of the zone.

Zone 4 (San Marino/Pasadena): Active faults that cross the zone are the Raymond and Alhambra Wash faults. There is one Superfund site in the southwestern end of the zone. There are also six other sites with various levels of soil contamination.

Zone 5 (Alhambra/San Gabriel/Temple City): The active Alhambra Wash fault is in this zone and so are the perennial Rio Hondo and San Gabriel rivers. There is one Superfund site in the south-central portion of the zone and seven other sites with various levels of soil and groundwater contamination.

The Glendale News Press reported 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.
(Source: Glendale News Press, February 2010)

Details on the Tunnel Study may be found at https://www.metro.net/projects/sr-710-conversations/.

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.

Gap Alternatives from 2013 ReportIn 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.

The Tunnel Era (2013-2016)

Concept for Route 710 TunnelsIn 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).
(Source: Glendale News-Press, 10/2/13)

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.
(Source and Graphic: Los Angeles Times, 10/20/2014)

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 the public.
(Source: LA Times, 3/6/2015)

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.
(Source: LA Times, 5/28/2015)

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 document.
(Source: SGV Tribute, 8/13/2015)

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.
(Source: KPCC, 8/24/2015)

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.
(Source: Los Angeles, 8/31/2015)

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.
(Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 10/23/2015)

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.
(Source: LA Times, 12/4/2015)

The Death of the 710 Gap Closure (2016-2017)

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.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 1/19/2016)

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 2025.
(Source: Los Angeles Wave, 1/8/2016)

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.
(Source: SGV Tribune, 3/12/2016)

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.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 5/19/2016)

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.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 7/15/2016)

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.
(Source: SGV Tribune, 8/29/2016)

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.
(Source: South Pasadena Review, 9/1/2016)

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.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 9/27/2016)

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.
(Source: CBSLA.com (KCBS), 12/19/2016)

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.”
(Source: San Gabriel Tribune, 2/9/2017)

"It's Dead Jim" -- Death of the Tunnel, and Disposing of the Remains (2017 to Present)

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.
(Source: LA Curbed, 5/25/2017)

In June 2017: Well, remember "It's dead, Jim"? Perhaps that was premature. Despite a historic vote by LA Metro to reject a car tunnel to close the 4.5-mile gap between El Sereno and Pasadena, recent moves from cities and local legislators indicate the two rival camps are still jockeying to see the project built, or kill it for good. Rosemead, part of the 710 Coalition, the collection of east San Gabriel Valley cities pushing for the construction of a $3 billion to $5 billion tunnel, voted on May 30 to hire a law firm to look into the legality of Metro’s vote. Meanwhile, State Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, an opponent of the tunnel plan, will meet with state transportation leaders early next week. “I am looking forward to connecting with the secretary and the greater community to meet the local transportation needs of the 710 communities, now that the tunnel is dead.”
(Source: San Gabriel Tribune, 6/18/2017)

In July 2017, it was reported that the death of the 710 is creating new coalitions. With the possibility of a freeway extension — either surface, tunnel or otherwise — shot down by a 12-0 vote of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in May, cities on both sides came to a meeting led by Supervisors Hilda Solis, Kathryn Barger and former LA Metro board chairman and Duarte City Councilman John Fasana to talk about nonfreeway, surface route improvements. Never before had Alhambra representatives agreed the freeway option is dead, and instead, wanted to join hands with Pasadena, South Pasadena and Metro to advance innovative projects that may help unclog local traffic backups and restore green space. South Pasadena City Councilwoman Marina Khubesrian said the cities against a freeway tunnel, part of the Connected Cities and Communities Coalition, is extending an invitation to Alhambra, as well as other former tunnel proponent cities, including San Gabriel and San Marino, to join their group. Some of the projects discussed at the meeting included:
(Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 7/12/2017)

In August 2017, it was reported that the City of Monterey Park has instructed their City Attorney to explore potentially joining the lawsuit filed by the City of Rosemead to prevent Metro from diverting any funds away from the Route 710 Tunnel. On August 2, 2017, during a special meeting of the Monterey Park City Council, the instructions were given to the City Attorney to review the writ of mandate filed by the City of Rosemead with the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to declare null and void the May 20, 2017 decision by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to divert funds away from the completion of Route 710. The instructions included conferring with Rosemead legal counsel and reporting back to the City Council by August 16, 2017.
(Source: Monterey Park News Release, 8/7/2017)

In November 2017, it was reported that with the Route 710 Freeway extension all but dead, South Pasadena has finalized a wish list of road and transit improvements that includes a new Route 110 Freeway onramp, widening Fair Oaks Avenue by removing curb extensions and building two bridges spanning intersections where the Metro Gold Line light-rail train holds up city traffic. Los Angeles Metro requested the local road improvements from cities in the Route 710 corridor after its board voted down a freeway extension in May. The board opted instead for a host of smaller fixes to break the gridlock that exists within the 4.5-mile north-south stretch from the Route 710 freeway southern section terminus at Valley Boulevard in El Sereno through Alhambra, South Pasadena and Pasadena. If there was one theme in South Pasadena’s submission, it wasto get commuters off Fremont Avenue and onto Huntington Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue, two wider thoroughfares that can handle more commuter and truck traffic exiting Route 710 at Valley Boulevard. The city’s first priority is to ask Caltrans for a “hook ramp” allowing vehicles to enter southbound Route 110 toward Los Angeles from eastbound State Street at a cost of $38 million. The new entrance would remove the current left turn lanes from Fair Oaks and unclog the morning and evening jam-up that has created a service level “F” intersection. The project would also widen the northbound Route 110 exit ramp to two left-turn lanes, one through lane and one right-turn lane, eliminating the queue of cars that extends onto freeway lanes in the evening rush hours. Also a priority are road upgrades to Fremont Avenue, both in South Pasadena and Alhambra, and removing curb extensions along Fair Oaks that will allow for more capacity at a cost of $15 million to $20 million. The city would take steps to discourage drivers from using Fremont and using signs and turn lanes to nudge cars to Huntington Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue. The city is asking Metro to study building two roadway overpasses at the Gold Line tracks, over Monterey Road and Pasadena Avenue. These may cost $80 million to $100 million and the city may run into competition with Pasadena, which may ask for one at California Avenue, said Paul Boland, transit planner with consulting group Nelson/Nygaard.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 11/27/2017)

In January 2018, as a result of the termination of the Route 710 completion project, the City of Pasadena was making recommendations regarding the Route 710 Stub near the interchange of Route 210 / Route 134 / Route 710. Specifically, the City of Pasadena has made plans to permanently shut down the popular offramp from the SB Route 710 at California Avenue. At City Council Monday night, Pasadena’s Department of Transportation will ask that Mayor Tornek send a letter to Los Angeles Metro on behalf of the City requesting money from a pot of nearly $600 million remaining in Measure R sales tax funds earmarked for Early Action Projects in lieu of the Route 710 North Extension Tunnel Alternative. Removing access to the southbound Route 710 stub freeway off-ramps at California Boulevard is on that list (although the article mistakenly refers to it as I-210 at that point). The idea is that since the Route 710 Tunnel was killed and surface street traffic between the I-210 and the northward-most access to the Route 710 terminus (sic) at Valley Boulevard in El Sereno is the final reality, that Measure R funds should be used to make that 4.5-mile north-south transit as swift and efficient as possible. On the action list by the City of South Pasadena in their Council-approved set of projects sent to Metro in December area measures to limit traffic on Fremont Avenue north of Huntington Drive and to direct traffic onto Huntington and Fair Oaks Avenue. “One of the effects of limiting traffic on Fremont is to cause traffic that uses the California Blvd ramps and the Pasadena/St. John couplet to be redirected at the intersection of Columbia and Pasadena to a much greater extent than it is today, which is already problematic,” a city designer said in an email. Rather than simply perpetuate that pattern, the consultant hired by the City recommended reconfiguring the stub ramps to direct southbound traffic to Del Mar Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue relying upon the available capacity of the ramp terminal and the section of Del Mar east to Fair Oaks. Northbound traffic would still use Pasadena Ave north of California to access the stub. The project list includes the following projects:
(Source: Pasadena News Now, 1/28/2018)

In March 2018, it was reported that, despite assurances that the project is dead, South Pasadena has hired an outside attorney to help the city redouble its efforts to fight a tunnel extension of Route 710 from Alhambra to Pasadena. Douglas Carstens, an expert in California environmental law and part of the Los Angeles-based Chatten-Brown & Carstens law firm, was hired by South Pasadena to help with the city’s latest effort to respond to Caltrans about how a 6.3-mile, north-south tunnel connecting the 10 Freeway with the 134/210 freeways in west Pasadena would adversely affect historical buildings. The response noted that four historic buildings would be affected: (1) The Markham Place Historic District, roughly bounded by California Street, Pasadena Avenue, Bellefontaine Street and Orange Grove Boulevard; (2) Caroline Walkley House, 696 S. Pasadena Ave.; (3) Driscoll House, 679 S. Pasadena Ave.; and (4) Sequoyah School, 535 S. Pasadena Ave. Caltrans has not yet signed off on the environmental analysis of the Route 710 completion. Until it does, the project is not officially decided since Caltrans is the lead agency. The project was dealt a major blow May 25 when the board of the funding agency, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, voted unanimously not to build the tunnel, saying the price tag, between $3 billion and $5 billion, was prohibitive. Instead, the board voted for a preferred local alternative that would improve affected roadways across city lines by adding capacity, new bus lines, bike lanes and synchronized signals in the high-traffic areas of Fremont and Garfield avenues and on Fair Oaks Avenue, as well as Pasadena Avenue and St. John Avenue in Pasadena. Caltrans is preparing to augment a portion of the environmental reports relating to historical resources and will begin recirculating that portion in April. The public and various agencies will have 45 days to comment. This will push back the finalization of a project under debate for nearly 60 years from spring to summer.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 3/6/2018)

The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, appears to not continue the allocation for PPNO 0219M, South Pasadena, Rt 10-Rt 210, freeway. There is a bit of a leftover ~ $9,000K in Construction, but that could be closeout from 2016. It does not show in the 2018 proposed allocation at all. Perhaps it really is dead, Jim.

In June 2018, it was reported that six 710 route tenants were given the green light by the California Transportation Commission in late May to buy the homes they’ve rented from Caltrans — a first for multiple residents since the ill-fated project’s 59-year-old saga began. These tenants are scattered throughout the 6.3-mile route of the defunct freeway extension, once proposed from the terminus at Valley Boulevard near Alhambra through El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena to the 210/134 freeways interchange. They are the first tenants to buy homes among the 42 listed available almost two years ago by Caltrans in a phased-in land sale that continues through 2020 and involves about 460 properties, confirmed Lauren Wonder, Caltrans spokesperson. All six homes are inhabited by long-time tenants, and all have qualified for the affordable pricing program under special state laws enacted just for these properties. Under what’s known as the “Roberti Law,” Caltrans must offer the homes to tenants at a reduced sales price. The resident must not own other property and have an income not more than 150 percent of the median income in Los Angeles County. These and seven others who may qualify will be getting some of the cheapest deals in Southern California existing real estate. Homes worth $700,000 to $1 million are being sold to the tenants for $150,00 to $300,000. This is unprecedented in today’s high-priced housing market, a bargain that both raises eyebrows and gets applauded. Caltrans says it is following the law. Low and moderate income tenants are supposed to be able to buy the home they’re in, in order to preserve neighborhoods and reward their patience. The program works like an affordable housing plan, keeping residents in their homes instead of driving them out because they can’t afford the price of Pasadena-area real estate, state officials say. The long-awaited home sales are an indication that the extension — first conceived by Caltrans in 1959 but opposed by many cities, environmental groups and others for decades — is finally dead, say opponents. Complicated rules do not allow the new homeowners to sell their homes until after the fifth year and equity, the difference between what they paid and the affixed market value, would go to the California Housing Finance Authority (CalHFA), which reserves the money to help Pasadena, South Pasadena, Los Angeles, La Canada Flintridge and Alhambra build affordable homes.
(Source: Press-Enterprise, 6/8/2018)

A later article clarified the ugly equity situation for those that do purchase those houses. People who decide to buy under a plan engineered by the state Legislature will not receive the equity on those homes if they sell them. Furthermore, those homes will not stay in a family upon death of the owner, according to local Attorney Chris Sutton. “No matter what price they pay, the tenants don’t get the equity,” Sutton said. However, buyers do get the original purchase funds back if they sell. If a buyer sells the house one year after the purchase, the buyer would only receive the amount they paid to purchase the home. In the second year, the owner would receive the purchase amount and 20 percent of the property’s appreciation. After five years, the owner would receive 100 percent of the appreciation of the home on top of purchase price if they sell the house at market value. The rest of the money would go to the California Housing Finance Agency (CHFA). So, on a house with a fair market value of $600,000 selling for $200,000, the buyer would get a loan for the $200,000, but a $400,000 lien would go to CHFA, who would get the equity if the property were sold. Any money produced as part of the sales would be spent by CHFA in Pasadena, South Pasadena, part of Los Angeles, Alhambra and La Cañada Flintridge for affordable housing projects. According to Sutton, this situation was created by a once supportive bill authored by former state Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, which changed the way the houses were sold. Under the original bill authored by Liu, which the tenants endorsed, at the end of the 30 years the owner would get the full equity in the house. In addition, heirs could step in upon an owner’s death and continue to own the home. But according to Sutton, Liu’s bill was changed during the legislative process and heirs must now reapply to qualify for the affordable purchasing program. If they don’t qualify, the home would be sold.
(Source: Pasadena Weekly, 6/28/2018)

Between June and October, two residents of one of the houses in the path of Route 710 (Tim Ivison and Julia Tcharfus) created a site-specific art exhibit, Before Present. This exhibit (which used some source materials in the collection of cahighways.org) later moved to the offices of a South Pasadena paper, and was written up on LAist. The exhibit captured the story of a project that never came to fruition. But all the work, both for and against the 710 extension has made a lasting impression without having to be built. The extension may be the most infamous local transit project that never actually was. 710, Beyond Present captures the phantom imprint of the route and how it shaped the communities it would have changed — or even destroyed. Tim and Julia also provided the map scans of the Westerly Corridor and the Meridian Alignment above.
(Source: LAist, 7/17/2018)

In July 2018, it was reported that legislation that would have given Alhambra and Pasadena control over the stubs of Route 710 died because of a lack of support in a state committee. Currently, Route 710 ends at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, and it had been planned to extend to I-210 Freeway via a stub Caltrans owns that currently ends at California Boulevard. Assembly Bill 533, authored by Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, would have removed that long-planned portion of Route 710 from the state highway code and would have given the land on which those stubs exist back to Alhambra, Pasadena and Los Angeles in the El Sereno neighborhood. However, when Holden presented the bill to the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in June 2018, the committee took no action, effectively killing the bill for the current legislative session. In making his recommendation that the committee take no action, state Sen. Jim Beall, D-Campbell, mentioned that in making his decision to recommend no action on AB 533, he considered that state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, had opposed the bill. Portantino, who has long opposed the completion of Route 710, couldn’t support the bill because its amendments were made after the committee’s deadline, he said, adding decisions about such a major issue should not be made so hastily. Holden said he intends to seek other legislative options and will bring the bill forward again in the 2019 legislative session.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 6/24/2018)

In September 2018, it was reported that Caltrans had just sold the first of hundreds of homes, purchased decades ago. The homes are being sold in a tiered system that prioritizes current longtime tenants who qualify for affordable housing. It was not an easy process. Of the first 42 homes on the sales block, Caltrans says four more are near closing and another five in litigation. Meanwhile, vacant lots that sold at auction are already seeing new construction, but they went for considerably more, up to $650,000.
(Source: NBC LA, 9/8/2018)

In November 2018, it was reported that for the first time since LA Metro killed the gap closure of Route 710, the agency approved 34 alternative projects, saying improvements to roads and major thoroughfares affected by traffic from the freeway’s northern terminus represents a new, cities-driven approach that flies in the face of Caltrans’ more-than-60-year desire to complete the 4.1-mile gap between El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena. The Metro Ad Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads Committee unanimously approved the first set of projects worth a total of $514.4 million. The list must be approved by the LA Metro Board of Directors at their meeting in December. In west Pasadena, where the street-level Gold Line train blocks traffic along east-west California Boulevard just east of Raymond Avenue, a grade separation is recommended to remove the backup of cars waiting for the trains to travel in and out of the Del Mar Station. The cost is $105 million, the most expensive project on the list and the only one in Pasadena. The report says building either an overpass or an underpass will help improve the flow of pedestrians and cyclists between the eastern and western portions of the city. In Alhambra, $100 million was approved to study the concept of reclaiming 51 acres of concrete freeway and turning it into a regional park shared by Alhambra, Monterey Park and the city of Los Angeles. Alhambra would work with Metro, Caltrans and the neighboring cities on the southern stub proposal. Other improvements approved:
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 11/14/2018)

In November 2018, it was reported that Alhambra’s proposal, approved by the Metro Ad Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads Committee earlier this month, would radically change the way traffic moves in the region. The city’s proposal is to end I-710 where it meets with I-10, and to turn the no-longer-needed freeway “stub” into a regional park. The $100 million project, which Metro would fund with Measure R money approved by voters in 2008 and was originally meant to be used to complete the 710, and 33 other projects across the region will go before the Metro Board of Directors for final approval at its Dec. 6 meeting. Under Alhambra’s plan, the terminus at Valley Boulevard would be plugged by parkland, and commuters heading toward the Pasadenas would have to exit I-710 either at Ramona Road or transition to eastbound I-10 and exit Fremont Avenue. Ramona Road would impact Monterey Park, and one of Monterey Park’s projects approved by the Metro Ad Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads Committee was the widening of Ramona to accommodate the cars that already exit I-710 there. However, removing Valley Boulevard as an exit option would change the situation significantly. The cities agree that the I-10 Freeway on- and off-ramps would have to be improved to accommodate additional traffic. The idea isn’t to put the burden of hosting I-710 traffic onto other cities but to improve flow and pounce on an opportunity to create a 51-acre park. South Pasadena Mayor Pro Tem Marina Khubesrian, who said she was excited about the prospect of a “green zone” park to soak up the carbon created by the freeway, also favors the construction of a new street route from I-710 to Cal State Los Angeles.
(Source Pasadena Star News, 11/26/2018)

Another improvement resulting from the termination of the gap completion is improvements related to the Gold Line. In November 2018, it was reported that a dual underpass-overpass concept at California Boulevard, between Arroyo Seco Boulevard and Raymond Avenue, was green-lighted by a committee of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The grade separation is part of about $500 million in non-freeway mobility projects preliminarily OK’d by LA Metro. A preliminary design calls for raising the train tracks about 12 feet, while lowering California Boulevard 9 feet, Fred Dock, director of Pasadena’s Department of Transportation, said. There is room on the north side for creating a “shoofly,” a temporary rail line that keeps trains running during construction, he said. Grade separation options for Del Mar and Glenarm are not feasible, he added, because of engineering, blockages from nearby buildings and underground utilities. For example, Tornek said the city looked into a grade separation at Del Mar Boulevard, but nearby buildings — an apartment complex, shops and restaurants — make it impossible without demolition. At the Glenarm crossing, adjacent to Pasadena’s natural gas-fired electric power plant, large utility lines under the street make an underpass too cost-prohibitive. The project may mean closing California Boulevard for a year and could take a few years to build, Tornek said. But despite the inconvenience, the end result would be the first east-west throughway for all vehicles and pedestrians without waiting for a train in the city. California may become more important than Del Mar Boulevard, which would retain the tracks at grade and gate arms.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 11/26/2018)

It was also reported in November 2018 that the sale of hundreds of surplus homes in the path of the extension have not moved ahead as quickly, with revenues barely trickling into Caltrans coffers for use in road and freeway improvements. In the eventual sale of about 460 properties listed as surplus in El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena, only 10 have been sold by Caltrans so far, said Abdollah Ansari, managing executive officer of the highway program for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), during an agency ad-hoc meeting on the 710 “gap” plans. To complicate things further, seven tenants who have waited nearly all their lives to purchase their homes under a special state-enacted “affordable housing” law specifically written for their benefit, have sued Caltrans. They say the state agency violated the law by charging an “inflation-adjusted price” that they say is illegal, egregious and may raise the purchase price between 500 percent and 600 percent. Several tenants asked for relief in protest letters sent in spring and summer but Caltrans held its ground, saying accounting for inflation was proper government procedure. As a result, the tenants and the United Caltrans Tenants, another tenants’ group, filed an updated lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. They ask Caltrans to sell the homes without any inflation adjustment, saying the added charge is a violation of a law that protects affordable housing sales of the 710 extension homes known as “The Roberti Bill.” The lawsuit argues Caltrans is reducing the equity in the home at the time of a future re-sale, a form of theft. Equity mostly would flow to an agency charged with building affordable housing, called the California Housing Finance Agency. The lawyers are also arguing that Caltrans cannot use opinions of its staff to override the Roberti Bill nor the state attorney general, who in 2009 was Jerry Brown.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 11/16/2018)

710 gap ITS improvementsIn November 2018, it was reported that the Final EIR for the northern portion of Route 710 was signed. The historic final EIR essentially ends the six-decade conflict. The signed and adopted EIR formally adopts a local street improvement alternative to the multibillion dollar 8-lane tunnel proposed in 2003 to replace the originally proposed surface freeway route. The initial freeway proposal triggered debate on this issue going back to the Eisenhower administration. In addition to presenting the EIR, Senator Portantino unveiled his plan to introduce legislation to formally remove the tunnel from the streets and highways code and to help facilitate the sale of Caltrans owned properties currently in the hands of non-profits. The Final EIR considered five alternatives: No Build, Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), and a Freeway Tunnel. The final adopted alternative was the TSM/TDM. Details on the others can be found in the FEIR (and likely, the discussion above). The Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM) Alternative consists of strategies and improvements to increase efficiency and capacity for all modes in the transportation system with lower capital cost investments and/or lower potential impacts. The TSM/TDM Alternative is designed to maximize the efficiency of the existing transportation system by improving capacity and reducing the effects of bottlenecks and chokepoints. TSM strategies in the TSM/TDM Alternative are: (◆) Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Improvements, including traffic signal upgrades, synchronization and transit prioritization, arterial changeable message signs (CMS), and arterial video and speed data collection systems; (◆) Local Street and Intersection Improvements; and Active Traffic Management (ATM), including arterial speed data collection and CMS. TDM (Transportation Demand Management) strategies focus on regional means of reducing the number of vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled as well as increasing vehicle occupancy. The TDM strategies included in the TSM/TDM Alternative are: Expanded Bus Service and Bus Service Improvements and Active Transportation Improvements (which consist mostly of Class III bike routes). The construction of the TSM/TDM Alternative is estimated to cost approximately $105 million (in 2014 dollars) and $126 million (in 2020 dollars), which includes structures, utilities, and right of way costs. Construction of the improvements in the TSM/TDM Alternative is expected to take approximately 2 years.
(Source: Pasadena Now, 11/28/2018; Rte710 North Final EIR)

The proposal includes numerous local and street improvements, detailed in a 6-page table in the FEIR. The map shows the projects:

710 Local Street Improvements

The following projects relate specific to the state highway system:

There is also a group agitating to "fill the ditch". The state-owned ditch between California Boulevard and I-210 represents nearly 2.5 million square feet of potential development next to the thriving Old Pasadena downtown district. Estimates suggest the land’s development could generate tens of millions of dollars in economic benefits. The citizen-led Connecting Pasadena Project proposes replacing the stub with a surface boulevard and neighborhoods that scale in density from south to north. A linear park could run parallel to the boulevard, stretching the entire length. The city could turn St. John and Pasadena avenues into two-way streets and add more east-west connections through the area. A partnership with Metro could allow a transportation hub on the north end that could be used for future light rail, or rapid bus, expansions. Councilmembers also suggested utilizing land for much-needed affordable housing, particularly in light of the homes lost when Caltrans took over the property decades ago. All of the work depends on the state relinquishing the land back to Pasadena. If California removes the northern stub from the freeway system, it will revert to local control, where city officials, through a master plan, could sell off parcels for development. Pasadena is now looking for grants and other funding sources to move forward with the planning process.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 11/1/2018; Connecting Pasadena)

In December 2018, it was reported that LA Metro approved a list of 34 projects in lieu of the completion of Route 710. These include removal of the southern Route 710 stub at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, construction of a train overpass at California Boulevard in Pasadena, and three parking structures in Monterey Park. Overall, the LA Metro board voted 8-0 to spend more than half a billion dollars in projects. Most of the funding comes from the $780 million set aside in Measure R, a half-cent sales tax adopted by Los Angeles County voters in 2008 earmarked for the 4.3-mile 710 Freeway gap closure tunnel. A second round of projects coming in about six months will give more consideration to bike lanes, electric buses and more pedestrian walkways. The following are some of the more significant projects:
(Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 12/7/2018)

  1. (Alhambra) Remove the southern freeway stub and end the freeway at I-10 ($100 million for study).
  2. (Alhambra) Improve on- and off-ramps on I-10 at Fremont Avenue, Atlantic Boulevard and Garfield Avenue ($60 million).
  3. (Monterey Park) Widening of Ramona Road, Garvey Avenue, Garfield Avenue and Atlantic Avenue ($31.3 million); three parking structures on Garvey ($60 million)
  4. (South Pasadena) Interchange improvements Route 110 at Fair Oaks Avenue ($38 million)
  5. (San Gabriel) A roundabout to Cesar Chavez Avenue/Lorena Street/Indiana Street ($8 million); Mission Drive and Las Tunas Drive intersection improvements ($3.3 million); Traffic signal control on Valley Boulevard and San Gabriel Boulevard ($3.1 million).
  6. (San Marino) Traffic signal synchronization on Huntington Drive ($7 million) and San Gabriel Boulevard ($3 million).
  7. (Los Angeles County/L.A. City) Traffic corridor improvement on Atlantic Boulevard ($3.7 million), Arizona Avenue/Monterey Pass Road/Fremont Avenue ($7 million), Eastern Avenue ($1.9 million), City Terrace Drive ($800,000); Floral Drive ($250,000; traffic signal upgrades in El Sereno ($10 million).

710 N StubAlso in December 2018, it was noted that it will likely be a long time before a shovel is turned on any of the above projects. After the December vote, there will be months of discussion, planning, study, and environmental review, according to Metro and Pasadena officials. The Metro Board of Directors has requested a meeting between all prospective project sponsors in January to share the evaluation and selection process and to ensure neighboring local jurisdictions are not adversely impacted by projects proposed by individual cities. No funds can be expended on the projects prior to the completion of the Route 710 North environmental process. Recent Board action authorized the programming of funds for the initial list of projects to start next fiscal year, July 1, 2019, pending no legal challenges to the Route 710 North Project and the availability of funds each future fiscal year. The first step on most projects will be establishing a memorandum of understanding between the cities and Metro. The MOU will set out the process and identify the financial terms that Metro will impose. Project agreement typically take 6 to 12 months. The City Council has to take a formal action to approve the MOU, and then Metro signs and the project can start. For many, the next step will be an environmental review process. The project will need extensive feasibility and design studies, and there may be the need for property acquisition. If digging is involved, plans need to be made for utility relocation. This is all before a single shovel of dirt moves.
(Source: Pasadena Now, 12/17/2018)

In February 2019, it was reported that Alhambra Mayor Jeff Maloney’s public forum on the I-710 Freeway stub and possibly turning the land into a regional park brought strong comments from the nearly 75 people in attendance, most of them firmly opposed to closing that unfinished artery over concerns that such a move would increase traffic on Alhambra streets and pose public safety issues. Those opposed to closing that stretch of Route 710 were often longtime residents of the city and said that closing the stub would increase traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods, especially on Fremont Avenue and on Atlantic and Garfield. Some pointed out that the north/south on and off-ramps on I-10 are insufficient to handle the increase in traffic from the closing of the stub. Other residents, who generally skewed younger, expressed their enthusiasm for a park, saying that the entire area didn’t necessarily have to be turned into park space and that increasing green space while alleviating traffic was not a zero-sum proposition.
(Source: Alhambra Source, 2/22/2019)

In March 2019, it was reported that both the Alhambra and Pasadena City Councils were concerns with the disposition of the Route 710 stubs. Pasadena’s biggest concern is for the state transportation agency to sell off the prime real estate adjacent to Old Pasadena and some of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods to the highest bidder. Such an auction would leave the city with little control except to apply de facto zoning regulations, according to a city report from its Department of Transportation. Pasadena has hired Point C, a consulting firm with expertise navigating the complex rules of Caltrans, particularly when involving excess freeway right of way. Pasadena is paying the local firm $167,500 to advise the city how to move forward. Point C worked on the Gold Line and other complicated transit projects. Currently, it is leading development of an aerial tramway that would connect Union Station to Dodger Stadium. Alhambra had previously envisioned establishing a regional park where the stub currently sits, assuming the land was given to the city. Most Alhambra residents who spoke at a recent council meeting were not in favor of the park idea and instead asked the city to advocate against the closure of the Route 710 stub, arguing that any such closure would create an even worse traffic situation than the existing one, with cars filling Valley Boulevard while waiting to turn north onto Fremont Avenue toward South Pasadena and Pasadena. City Councilman Jeff Maloney said it was clear that addressing traffic and handing over local control of the land should be the city’s primary focus in entering into discussions with Portantino and Holden, a position that was unanimously supported by the rest of the council. The council also unanimously agreed to wait for traffic studies surrounding the stub to be completed before supporting any proposals for the land’s use and to create a two-member City Council subcommittee to join city staff in discussions regarding the legislation.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 3/13/2019)

In late March 2019, it was reported that Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation to remove the 710 North Project Area between I-210 and I-10 from the California State Freeway and Expressway code, Assembly Bill 29, passed the Assembly Transportation Committee today on a unanimous vote. The legislation aims to quell lingering concerns about Caltrans’ Final Environmental Impact Report and a 2017 Los Angeles Metro motion to move away from the tunnel concept for largely financial reasons. The reasoning for both decisions may leave the tunnel solution open to future consideration. Holden’s legislation specifies that Route 710 is from Route 1 to Route 10, essentially eliminating any future possibility of freeway tunnel.
(Source: Pasadena Now, 3/25/2019)

Lastly, in late March 2019, it was reported that three long-time tenants of homes within the path of the now-defunct, 6.2-mile 710 Freeway extension fought Caltrans in court and won. After decades of waiting, Angeles Flores, Marysia Wojick and Priscela Izuierdo received an offer from Caltrans in 2018 to buy the homes they’ve been renting for a price that was hundreds of thousands of dollars less than any home on the market in tony South Pasadena, yet at a price that took into account inflation. They objected to the markup and sued, saying as low-income residents who qualify for the affordable price program to buy some of the 460 homes along the 4.5-mile path of the killed extension, the homes should sell for what Caltrans paid originally. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff agreed with the three women. The homes should be offered to them at the original acquisition price — no more, no less. Beckloff ruled that Caltrans came up with the idea of upping the sales price — sometimes six or seven times the acquisition price — on its own. In other words, officials made it up. “Caltrans cannot use its pricing methodology,” Beckloff wrote, saying the bureaucracy was acting in a “type of ‘quasi-legislating’ power …” The ramifications may make for the lowest priced, single-family home sales in Southern California. While Caltrans has until May 17 to appeal, the agency does not usually do so when it loses in court, said Chris Sutton, the Pasadena attorney who represented the tenants in the case and has been fighting for sale of the surplus homes for decades. The ruling may allow more than 100 other tenants in the program to buy the homes they are living in at very, very low prices. Or, Caltrans may argue the ruling is limited to these three only.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 3/31/2019)

In April 2019, it was reported that state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada) is waiting for Caltrans to provide language for his bill, SB 7, that he introduced in January in order to get it passed in the legislature and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The goal of the bill is to get the two stubs of the unfinished I-710 freeway out of the state highway system and give them to the cities affected by spillover traffic. However, the wording is up to Caltrans, since they have control over the stub and turning it over to another jurisdiction is a delicate process. “The biggest challenge is within government code, how you refer to liquidations or reversal, whatever word you use, relinquishment versus abandonment versus returning,” Portantino said. “Each word has its own legal consequence, so Caltrans is trying to figure out what’s legal, what’s doable, what has the best economic implications for all sides. That’s what I’m waiting for.” Receiving this language is the next step in the saga of what may happen to the I-710 freeway, which has stopped abruptly at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra since the 1960s. Portantino said that unknown legal and economic implications aside, he believes Caltrans’ priority is to facilitate local control over the I-710 stubs in Alhambra and in Pasadena. He said that the agency wants “to get out of the 710 business.” The bill also permits some community nonprofits to be able to buy their respective properties at their current use value, not market rates calculating to what the property could converted at its highest use.
(Source: Alhambra Source, 4/1/2019; PasadenaStar News 4/9/2019)

Also in April 2019, it was reported that three cities ready to receive a portion of almost $1 billion in lieu of a north I-710 extension are unhappy with the process, want more cooperation from Metro and are concerned their suggestions are being ignored. A letter signed by the city managers of Alhambra, Pasadena and South Pasadena to the Los Angels County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board accuses its staff of only accepting projects that enhance the movement of automobiles, namely adding lanes to regional thoroughfares in an area between El Sereno and Pasadena, from Valley Boulevard to I-210 just west of Fremont and Pasadena avenues. “The fact sheet indicates that projects will only be deemed eligible if they enhance vehicular capacity. There is no consideration for active transportation or safety components, which seems contrary to the Metro Board Motion,” the letter states. Seven cities plus Los Angeles County are once again competing for 710 North Mobility Project dollars as part of Phase II. The board is expected to decide on the project list in June. Board members made promises last year to include mass transit and active transportation (biking, walking) in the second round. Metro rejected about $400 million mass transit and active transportation projects submitted in Phase I. These include a bus rapid transit plan and improved bus service on Valley Boulevard.
(Source: Pasadena Star News $$, 4/28/2019)

In July 2019, it was reported that reports of the dealth of the Alhambra 710 Stub, and its transformation into a regional park, were premature. Neighbors say without the roadway extensions already provided, traffic would be redirected into their cities, making congestion worse. After plans by Caltrans to close the 4.1-mile “710 Freeway Gap” between El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena by surface or tunnel were killed in November, cities were awarded $515 million by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for local roadway projects, money leftover from Measure R, a 2008 county sales tax ballot measure. Of that, $100 million is earmarked for Alhambra to pursue a project on the southern stub. The city announced it would study various proposals, including parkland. State Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, stands opposed to conversion of the stubs. She said closures to the Alhambra and Pasadena stubs would be premature and blocks input from Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rosemead, San Marino and the city of Los Angeles. Rubio convinced Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, to omit a portion of his 710 stubs bill, AB 29, that would’ve required the California Transportation Commission to relinquish both stubs to their respective cities. AB 29 in its more limited form would remove the Route 710 Freeway north extension between the I-10 and I-210 freeways from the state’s freeway system. Rubio supports Senate Bill 7 by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, which codifies into law the end to a 710 tunnel option or any completion of the 710 extension as an expressway.
(Source: Pasadena Star News, 7/22/2019)

In September 2019, it was reported that the legislature had approved both 710 related bills (they both eventually were chaptered). Senate Bill 7, introduced by Portantino, a former La Cañada Flintridge mayor and council member, also effectively kills the Route 710 North freeway tunnel as a replacement for an overland connector by removing the planned extension between Route 710 and I-210 — something that’s been on the books since the 1940s — from the state highway code as of Jan. 1, 2024. SB 7 also includes housing provisions such as a rent hike freeze and an extended deadline for Caltrans tenants in its Affordable Rent Program. A second bill, Assembly Bill 29, introduced by Democrat Assembly member Chris Holden, a former Pasadena mayor and council member, contains language identical to SB 7 regarding the tunnel, minus the additional housing provisions. If Newsom decides not to support the housing provisions in SB 7, signing AB 29 will still effectively kill the tunnel plan. He has until Oct. 13 to sign the bills. Whichever bill he signs last becomes law (he signed SB 7 last). Caltrans successfully negotiated the removal of language from the SB 7 that would have compelled the state agency to immediately relinquish control of the freeway “stubs” — areas where the existing freeways end — to the cities of Pasadena and Alhambra. SB7 also includes a section allowing Caltrans, prior to 2024, to relinquish to the City of Pasadena the portion of I-710 within its city limits—namely, the so-called stub lands–once the city and state agree on a deal. Alhambra had also considered its options for use of its stub if it were given control over it. One idea the city had considered was building a regional park there, and instead of spilling onto Valley Boulevard, cars would be forced to go east or west onto I-10. However, with Alhambra further behind it in its planning for the stub, Alhambra did not ask Caltrans to relinquish the stub to the city, City Manager Jessica Binnquist said. This is why SB 7 authorizes the California Transportation Commission to relinquish only the north stub area near California Boulevard to the city of Pasadena “upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment,” the bill states. “The city of Pasadena shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 710.” SB 7 also makes permanent a rent hike freeze for tenants who reside in Caltrans properties in the 710 Corridor and are in the Affordable Rent Program. It also gets rid of the so-called “2012 policy,” an arbitrary rule Caltrans used to prevent tenants who moved in after August 2012 from being eligible for the Affordable Rent Program. The new eligibility deadline is July 1, 2019. The bill also helps the nonprofit tenants in the 710 Corridor purchase their properties in a fiscally prudent manner,” including Arlington Garden, Ronald McDonald House, Sequoyah School and others. In late 2016, Caltrans announced it would sell the 710 properties in three phases, but so far has only sold a handful. Caltrans has not released a timeline for when the hundreds of remaining properties will be sold. More than 160 houses — including about 50 percent of the houses that Caltrans owns in Pasadena — are vacant and falling into disrepair, according to an investigation by the Pasadena Star-News. Caltrans does not rent out houses again after they become vacant. In October 2019, it was reported that the Governor signed both bills, but signed SB 7 last -- putting the housing provisions into law, and in 2024, relinquishing the portion between Alhambra Ave (not I-10, as in AB 29) and I-210.
(Source: Pasadena Weekly, 9/19/2019; PasadenaNow, 10/13/2019; South Pasadenan, 10/15/2019, PasadenaStar News, 10/14/2019)

In September 2019, it was reported that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) board approved funding for $136,850,000-worth of traffic improvements in Pasadena. The appropriation was part of an overall $297 million appropriated for San Gabriel Valley-area transportation initiatives. The funds were tied up in the 710 freeway extension project. Its demise resulted in their reallocation to mobility improvement projects aimed at resolving the same traffic problems the original project was proposed to fix. Most of the projects funded by Metro were on Pasadena’s Route 710 North Early Action Project “wish list” sent by the Council to Metro in January 2018. The biggest recipient was the Gold Line grade separation project at California Boulevard. Metro set aside $125 million for right-of-way and construction. A project to modify intersections at the California Boulevard Route 710 Freeway offramps and the Pasadena Avenue northbound onramp got $2.6 million. That project could result in the closure of the Route 710 Freeway southbound offramp that currently empties onto South Saint John Avenue and California Boulevard. $850,000 was reallocated for an upgrading of the traffic signal at Fair Oaks Avenue and Bellevue Drive. The Walnut Street Corridor Signal Improvement Project was the recipient of another $4.1 million. Lastly, a project upgrading flow throughout Pasadena with new traffic signal controllers and cabinets, fiber-optics communication, and signal preemption technology, is slated to receive a $3.8 million boost.
(Source: Pasadena Now, 9/30/2019)

In October 2019, Governor Newsom signed AB 29 (Chapter 791, Statutes of 2019, 10/21/2019) and SB 7 (Chapter 835, Statutes of 2019, 10/21/2019). As SB 7 was chaptered later, it is the bill with precedence. SB 7 requires, according to the executive summary:

(1) Existing law establishes priorities and procedures that any state agency disposing of surplus residential property is required to follow. Under existing law, specified single-family residences must first be offered to their former owners or present occupants, as specified. Existing law also gives tenants in good standing of nonresidential properties priority to purchase, at fair market value, the property they rent, lease, or otherwise legally occupy.

This bill would require a state agency to give priority to a tenant in good standing of a nonresidential property to purchase, at the lesser of fair market value or value in use, as defined, if the tenant is a city or a nonprofit organization, as specified. The bill would prohibit the Department of Transportation from selling a nonresidential property to a tenant described above at a value below the minimum sales price, as defined in the department’s Affordable Sales Program as of July 1, 2019. The bill would require the selling agency, if a nonresidential property is offered at a price that is less than fair market value, to impose appropriate terms, conditions, and restrictions.

(2) Existing law provides, notwithstanding any other law, for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act, that the preliminary project alternative referred to as Alternative F-6 in the December 2012 Alternative Analysis Report of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is no longer deemed to be a feasible alternative for consideration in any state environmental review process for the Interstate 710 North Gap Closure project.

This bill would revise this provision to instead provide that the preliminary project alternatives referred to as Alternative F-5, F-6, and F-7 in the December 2012 Alternative Analysis Report of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and any other freeway or tunnel alternatives to close the Interstate 710 North Gap are no longer deemed to be feasible alternatives for consideration in any environmental review process for the Interstate 710 North Gap Closure project.

(3) Existing law prohibits the Department of Transportation, until January 1, 2020, from increasing the rent of tenants who reside in surplus residential property located within the State Route 710 corridor in the County of Los Angeles and who participate in the Affordable Rent Program administered by the department.

This bill would make this prohibition permanent and would also provide that signatories of active rental agreements for residential property entered into with the department as of July 1, 2019, and continuously residing at the property since that date, may be eligible to participate in the department’s Affordable Rent Program.

(4) Existing law vests the Department of Transportation with full possession and control of all state highways and associated property. Existing law designates and describes state highway routes, and also describes the state highway routes in the California freeway and expressway system, including all of State Highway Route 710 in the County of Los Angeles.

This bill would, on January 1, 2024, remove from the California freeway and expressway system the portion of Route 710 between Alhambra Avenue in the City of Los Angeles and California Boulevard in the City of Pasadena.

(5) Existing law establishes a process for the California Transportation Commission to adopt a highway on an authorized route, requires the commission to relinquish to local agencies state highway portions that have been deleted from the state highway system by legislative enactment, and authorizes relinquishment in certain other cases.

This bill would authorize the commission to relinquish to the City of Pasadena the specified portions of Route 710 within its city limits, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment.

Provisions (1) and (3) impact housing in the Route 710 corridor. Provision (2) eliminates any possibility of constructing the gap closure without going through the environmental process all over again (which will never happen), as it declares any freeway completion options as non-feasible. Provisions (4) and (5) affect the definition of the route in the freeway and expressway system (Article 2) and the state route definitions (Article 3): (4) removes the unconstructed portion from the freeway and expressway system, and (5) authorizes relinquishment of the Pasadena stub.

In June/July 2020, a (virtual) presentation was made regarding the Alhambra stubs. The selected alternatives appear to be as follows; the next steps are to get Metro buy-in:
(Source: GTC Presentation to Alhambra City Council, "710 NORTH ANALYSIS UPDATE", June 8, 2020, via fungus on AARoads)

Commuter Lanes Commuter Lanes

HOV lanes are planned between I-10 and I-210.

Naming Naming

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 along Ocean Blvd and Seaside appears to be informally called the Seaside Freeway.

Mark BixbyThe bicycle pedestrian path on the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge (~ LA 4.513) 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.
(Image source: Legacy.Com Obituary)

Honorable Jenny Oropeza Memorial OvercrossingThe portion of I-710 that runs between Pico Avenue and the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) in the City of Long Beach (~ LA 5.213 to LA 6.842) 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. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 115, Resolution Chapter 130, on August 28, 2014.
(Image source: Wikipedia)

Note that the indicated bridge on Route 1 is also named after her, and is signed as the "Honorable Jenny Oropeza Memorial Overcrossing".

Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Maria Cecilia Rosa Memorial HighwayThe portion of this route from the Pacific Coast Highway to Wardlow Road in the City of Long Beach (~ LA 6.924 to LA 9.053) 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.
(Image source: 404'd Flikr Page; National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund)

Long Beach Freeway / Los Angeles River FreewayThe portion of this route from Route 1 to Route 5 (~ LA 6.924 to LA 22.938) 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".
(Image source: Wikimedia; Caltrans District 7 on Twitter)

Compton Police Officers Kevin Burrell and James MacDonald Memorial HighwayThe portion of I-710 from Route 91 to Alondra Boulevard (~ LA 12.97 to LA 13.94) in the County of Los Angeles is named the "Kevin Burrell and James MacDonald Memorial Highway" (signed as "Compton Police Officers 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.
(Image source: Find a Grave; California Gang Investigators Assn (Burrell); California Gang Investigators Assn (MacDonald))

Ruben Salazar Memorial HighwayThe portion of I-710 between Rout 60 and East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in the County of Los Angeles (~ LA 24.713 to LA 24.954) 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.
(Image source: San Diego Union Tribune; Wikiwand; Wikipedia; Press Democrat)

Los Angeles River FreewayBefore 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.
(Image source: Caltrans District 7 on Twitter)

The portion of this route from Route 5 to Route 210 (not all constructed) is not officially named.

Named Structures Named Structures

On Route 710, although not originally on Route 710 (~ LA 4.513), is the "Gerald Desmond Bridge". Gerald "Jerry" Desmond (April 1915 – January 1964) was a prominent Democratic politician and civic leader in Long Beach, California who served as a Long Beach City Councilmember and as Long Beach City Attorney. Desmond was born in Long Beach, California in April 1915. He was the second oldest son of Walter Desmond (1876–1951), a religious Irish Catholic lawyer from Boston who came to California in 1905 and opened a law office in Long Beach. Desmond attended Long Beach City College, where, in 1932, he met his future wife, Virginia Slater. He briefly attended California State University, Long Beach, but soon transferred to Cal Berkeley. After graduation, along with Virginia, he attended law school at his father's alma mater, Harvard. In 1937 he and Virginia were married, and eventually had five children. When World War II began in 1941, Desmond worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office. As a result, he would not have had to go into the service, but he was eager to join and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was in the supply corps, and then he was transferred to fraud investigation. The Navy sent him to Harvard Business School to train him to prepare for disposing of surplus disposal after the war, but never worked in this field. While he was investigating fraud, he traveled a lot. The Desmonds rented a house in Long Beach and Gerald went to New York, where he was stationed. He never went overseas. After the war, he came back to Long Beach and opened a private law practice. Desmond became active in local government and served on the Long Beach City Council. He was a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Later in 1960, he was elected City Attorney and served in that position until his death in 1964 at the age of 48.
(Information source: Wikipedia)

The Robert Shoemaker Bridge (~ LA 6.0) is named after Robert Shoemaker, who was a Councilman in  District 7, Long Beach. It was original a City of Long Beach structure and was named by them in 1959; it transferred to Caltrans ownership post 2020.

Edmond J. RussBridge 53-958 (if it were 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 at 110 LA 009.85; 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.
(Image source: Freeway City)

Dess K. Phipps Memorial OvercrossingOvercrossing number 53-0822 (LA 013.95), which spans I-710 at Alondra Boulevard approximately at LA 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.
(Image source: LA Sentinel; Officer Down Memorial Page)

Marco Antonio FirebaughThe I-5/I-710 interchange (~ LA 023.2) 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.
(Image Source: Marco's Obituary)

Thomas H. PohlmanThe interchange of I-10 and I-710 in the County of Los Angeles (LA 026.47) 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
(Image source: Twitter; Find a Grave)

Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
Los Angeles 710 6.80 9.82
Los Angeles 710 11.86 12.55
Los Angeles 710 12.80 17.34
Los Angeles 710 17.66 21.01
Los Angeles 710 21.76 22.17
Los Angeles 710 22.37 22.67
Los Angeles 710 22.91 25.44
Los Angeles 710 26.40 26.53
Los Angeles 710 R26.53 R27.19
Los Angeles 710 R32.34 R32.72

Interstate Submissions Interstate Submissions

State Shield Interstate Shield Under Construction 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 mileage 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.

Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Until 1/1/2024: Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

In 2019, both AB 29 (Chapter 791, 10/21/2019) and SB 7 (Chapter 835, 10/21/2019) were chaptered, and SB 7, being chaptered last, took precedence. SB 7 changed the definition of the route in the freeway and expressway system to prepare for relinquishment of the Route 710 gap (note that it did not change the definition of the route itself):

(1) Route 47 to Route 1.

(2) Route 1 near the City of Long Beach to Route 10 near the City of Alhambra.

(3) Route 10 near the City of Alhambra to Route 210 near the City of Pasadena.

SB 7 explicitly requires, that as of 1/1/2024, items (2) and (3) are changed to

(2) Route 1 near the City of Long Beach to Route 10 near the City of Alhambra Alhambra Avenue in the City of Los Angeles.

(3) Route 10 near the City of Alhambra California Boulevard in the City of Pasadena to Route 210.

This explicitly deletes the unconstructed portion of Route 710 from the freeway and expressway system. Note that the actual definition of the route in Article 3 of the Streets and Highway Code is unchanged.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 710:


Acronyms and Explanations:


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