The bitter battle over whether to build a tunnel to bridge the 6.2-mile gap between the 710 freeway in Alhambra and the Interstate 210 in Pasadena has finally come to an end. The Metro Board voted this morning unanimously to pass the motion to remove the 710 tunnel project as an option to close the gap between Alhambra-Pasadena, which was a 60 year old issue.
The motion was presented by Board President John Fasana and and Board Director Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to “implement mobility improvements that are fundable with existing resources and to bring some relief to affected corridor cities.” Such “improvements” would now, not include the 710 Tunnel.
In February, Assemblymember Holden introduced Assembly Bill 287 that would have prohibited construction of the 710 Tunnel and bring stakeholders from the affected communities together in order to craft a viable solution for the region.
Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge), one of the longest and most outspoken elected opponents of the proposed tunnel project , said, “Today, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board took a giant step forward to finally ending the threat of the 710 tunnel project for our region. I applaud the board’s focus on solving the 710 corridor’s regional traffic and circulation issues with local solutions funded by Measure R dollars originally intended for the tunnel. The efforts of three generations of freeway fighters played a tremendous part in making today’s vote happen. These tireless advocates are to be commended for recruiting so many of us into this fight. As the issue now moves to the California Department of Transportation for binding action, rest assured that I will continue to be the honest broker and strong advocate for the “no” tunnel position, which moved significantly closer to reality today.”
“I welcome today’s vote as it moves us closer to implementing 21st century transportation solutions to relieve traffic congestion, connect communities, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden (AD – 41). “The 710 North corridor cities will have the opportunity to implement solutions that work for their respective communities, but it is vital now more than ever to come together and implement a regional solution that benefits everyone.”