Report: Closing the 710 Freeway gap would take years and cost billions
In a 2,260-page draft environmental report, the California Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority examined four construction options they say could address the congestion and health issues that stem from the 710’s abrupt ending on a surface street in Alhambra. The freeway is a favored route for truckers shuttling between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and distribution centers in central Los Angeles County.
"This area is widely considered to have an incomplete transportation infrastructure," Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales told the Los Angeles Times. "The way it affects the region is part of this study -- what it means for traffic, what it means for mobility, what it means for air pollution. We closely associate the 710 with a handful of specific cities, but it’s connected to the whole region."
A 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, the report said.
A 12-mile rapid bus route would link Huntington Drive in San Marino to Whittier Boulevard in Montebello, according to the environmental analysis. 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.
A 7.5-mile light-rail line would cost $2.4 billion and would add seven stops to Los Angeles County’s growing rail system, the report said, 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.
Caltrans and Metro are accepting comments from the public until July 6. The Metro board of directors will choose a final option for the project sometime in 2016, Gonzales said.