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Metro Awards $37.3 Million for 710 Environmental Study

The studies are expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

The following is a press release from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors  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 210 and 710 freeways Thursday.

The studies are expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

“Metro looks forward to moving this much needed Measure R funded project through an alternatives analysis and environmental process to make decisions based on data regarding closing this longstanding gap in our transportation system and improving mobility throughout this region,” said Doug Failing, Metro Executive Officer for Highway projects.

The 4.5 mile segment between Valley Boulevard and Del Mar Boulevard in the City of Pasadena is the only uncompleted portion of the facility. The “gap” has contributed to local arterial congestion particularly during peak traffic periods.

In 2008, two-thirds of Los Angeles County voters approved allocating Measure R funds for the SR 710 Gap closure and other congestion relief projects.  

Metro will be the lead administrative agency on the project and will work in partnership with Caltrans. Caltrans will have environmental compliance responsibility under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has been delegated authority under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by the Federal Highway Administration.

Scott Phister October 28, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, didn't 8 out of the 9 City Council candidates say in the last debate this was a dead issue?
Joanne Nuckols October 28, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Scott, I was at the last debate and certainly didn't hear those candidates say it's a dead issue. If nothing else, the debate established how complex and issue the proposed 710 freeway is and that it certainly isn't dead. There is no doubt that if South Pasadena and our allies ever hope to kill it, once and for all, we have to be eternally vigilant, in particular the next few years during the EIR/EIS process. In fact, this could be the most critical time in the 62 years of the fight. (The South Pasadena City Council first passed a resolution against the 710 in 1949.) If we don't have a strong, committed city council intent on being aggressive in protecting our town against any form of 710, we could very well end up having a tunnel under South Pasadena. For this reason and many others, our best shot to stop a surface freeway from cutting our town in quarters or a tunnel from going under is to re-elect Dr Schneider and elect Dr Khubesrian and Bob Joe to the city council on Nov 8th.
S. Ray October 28, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Interesting comment, Ms. Nuckols. I have found Dr. Schneider to be ineffective on the council. I know Mr. Joe and believe he would be satisfactory, but I have my doubts as to Dr. Khubesrian based on who she claims as supporters, her positions on issues, etc.
Marina Khubesrian, MD October 28, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Dear S. Ray, My position on the issues have been consistent. I have a wide base of support from people who believe my decisions will be made in the city's best interest only even if they don't agree with some of my positions. To clarify, I am strongly opposed to a 710 tunnel in this region, and have compared it to an invasive, costly, and dangerous medical procedure that will make symptoms (more surface and truck traffic) worse. There should be no doubts as to my commitment to defeat attempts from CalTrans or Metro to shove a 710 tunnel freeway beneath our city.
Clyde Williams October 28, 2011 at 08:56 PM
Welcome to Reality - Does anyone really believe what MTA/Caltrans say??? You and We went thru the Geotechnical Feasibility study for two years and lots of conversations or was it Scoping which produced a report now final that said their is a Study Area of 100sqmi and there will be lots of different alternatives - but no Purposes and No Needs. As Gloria Molina stated in board meeting - I know where the Gap Closure will be and drew a straight line from the south to the north stubs. Failing and others say various things BUT they will come back and say the ONLY WAY we can close the GAP and satify the trucks (yes the ONLY Way to Make it Pay is with trucks) and commuters is to have a surface route with an interchange at Huntington Drive...Bet a Traveller of Starbucks on this one... Now - In LA we will try to get: JH to rescind the LACity/Caltrans agreement for the 710 Everyone to agree on a Base Case Project - Tunnel I-10/710 <> I210/134 Get the Environ.Superior Altern. of improve existing infrastructure Revive the East Alignment (Alh<>SanMar<>Pasad) Demonstrate at every turn that the Consultant is bias and non-objective as MTA was in connecting the Design/Engineering and Environmental Assessment along with the PPP-Halcrow - Engineering is part of CH2MHill Tom
Dr. Bill Sherman October 29, 2011 at 12:51 AM
While the entire study will be completed in 2014 they plan in finishing the alternative analysis in nine months. In June we will see that it will be a tunnel right up our gut into Pasadena. Dr. Bill Sherman
Clyde Williams October 29, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Hey Dr. Bill, from Dr. Tom They won't finish the alternatives til three months after receiving comments on a DEIR in 2014, then the Judges will send them back to do it the right way. MTA's PPP consultant has surface and subsurface options and who is the solely owned subsidiary of CH2MHill, the appointed Engineering and EIR Assessment and may their's will have an inside track...but the final alternatives will include a surface route with an interchange at Huntington Driver, maybe 110, and daily 25-30,000 trucks. We are trying to get it shifted eastward into Alhambra and maybe even SanMarino as it was many years/decades ago. But maybe overhead as they are doing with Interstates in Texas. Dr. Tom
Brian Wallace October 29, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Having grown up in San Gabriel and lived in South Pasadena, I feel that the best solution to the 'gap' is to construct the 710 to the border of South Pasadena, from the north and the south. That way, South Pasadena doesn't have to have the freeway, yet will have to put up with all the traffic normally shunted through Alhambra and Pasadena, that we the OTHER cities in the east San Gabriel valley have had to put up with since your self- centered little NIMBY attitude(s). I currently own a house on or about the proposed route in Alhambra. I would rather live next to a freeway than a town of people that holds it's neighbors hostage with thier selfish views. ...Brian Wallace
Joanne Nuckols October 30, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Brian, what you propose...building to So Pas borders...is impossible. There has been a federal injunction in place since 1973 (renewed in 1999) stopping any more freeway construction in the 710 corridor. This injunction is still in place. If Caltrans, Alhambra, Los Angeles and Pasadena had wanted the freeway extended they should have agreed with So Pas in the 70's and 80's when we were proposing a Westerly Route (which was declared engineering feasible) and this was the official position of the city. (check it out if you don't believe me). The position is now "no freeway, surface or tunnel" and in favor of a Multi Modal alternative. The City of San Marino had a traffic study done in the 90's because of the n/s pass through traffic. That study said that if the 710 were extended there would still be the same n/s traffic through that city since people will not go more than 2-3 miles out of their way to go on a freeway. The traffic in Alhambra is due more to their over development (geographically twice the size of So Pas but three times the population) than to the 710 stub. And, if you'd do some research on the proposed toll tunnel (PB 2006 Study) you'd see that the amount of traffic on surface streets would actually increase because of the diversion of traffic not wanting to pay the toll of $5-15 one-way. So, Brian if you want to live next to a freeway and subject you and your family to life-shortening pollution (well documented) be my guest. We choose not to.
Clyde Williams October 30, 2011 at 06:44 PM
1. “…best solution...from the north and the south. That way, South Pasadena doesn't have to have the freeway…” 1.R Your solution kills our LA neighborhood, but you all have tried for 30+ years...You want us to solve your Alhambra problems and lose our houses not yours...we are/have been and will fight 710 with our solutions. Put it thru along Meridian St. in Alhambra 2. “…yet will have to put up with all the traffic normally shunted through Alhambra and Pasadena…” 2R Much of the A/P traffic won’t use 710, those on 710 will compete with 40K+ trucks per day - no help on Huntington or Main. 3. “…we the OTHER cities in the east San Gabriel valle...” 3R. Remember, where you are - Alhambra and El Sereno are far west end (not east) of SGValley - learn where you/we live. OBTW Alhambra could have solve some congestion but BM/ACC didn't reduce Alhambra congestion, risks getting 710 in ElSereno. 4. “…currently own a house on or about the proposed route in Alhambra. I would rather live next to a freeway than a town of people that holds it's neighbors hostage with their selfish views…” 4.R Alhambra has not had any part of the 710 Gap in their town...but it is coming - City officials, MTA, and Caltrans/CTC have agreed to having the tunnel portal be entirely south of Valley Blvd. My condolences if you live on Charnwood/Westmont; you will not only get the freeway but also digging a 200ft deep hole in the ground. TOM
Ernest Arnold October 31, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Clyde, you are wailing against the wrong people. You say that South Pasadena is selfish. That is the City of South Pasadena, and we would no more approve a freeway cutting through the center of our city any more the City of Alhambra would accept a freeway along Garfield, Atlantic or Main Street. I understand the stress that El Sereno, Harmon and Highlan Park are under, but they did not have any legal say, because they are part of the City of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles decided where the freeway would go within thst city. When our neighboring cities treated the City of South Pasadena like a neighborhood of a larger city, they missed the chance to find a compromise. We tried for 25 years to find a compromise route and build the freeway, now times have changed. It is not going to happen, get over it.
Clyde Williams October 31, 2011 at 04:21 AM
Ernest I was responding to the BrianW. of Alhambra Bottom lines - BL1..CT/MTA will not get thru ElSereno - maybe along Palm in Alhambra, BL2..no private money will put up any money for this project - BL3..we may get a special assessment district for improved existing road systems BL4..consultancies will keep milking CT/MTA as long as they have money BL5..We are working on LACity during the elections BL6...We are reviewing the SoCalInternatlGateway for the freight stuff BL7...Waiting for I710South which will highlight freight/trucks BL8...Now that MTA is ot for a while we will focus on SCAG ElSereno really does care where SoPas and Alhambra go - we believe we have a good program and good resources for the next few years and we may give NRDC a few lessons in the next few months. Clyde/Tom
Ernest Arnold November 01, 2011 at 06:37 PM
Clyde, sorry about that I got it turned around. You make a good argument. Brian, if a project cannot be approved in the life time of the one's proposing it, just maybe it doesn't work. This was first proposed over 50 years ago. We have gone through an entire maned space program during the same time frame. This a failed project. By the way, neighborhoods and cities have different legal rights. A city has a right to say "not in my city". Alhambr and Los Angeles a told CalTrans where they could build the 10 and the 710, South Pasadena is no different.
Chris Glaser November 03, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Scott, as I stated at the City Council Candidate forum: “I am opposed to the 710 above ground or below ground, We are in a constant chess match with Metro/Caltrans, Assembly Bill 751 is just one move in the chess game we must win.” We cannot rest on our laurels; we must create a strong proactive strategy. A strategy that builds a stronger coalition with communities from Long Beach to Monrovia. There is no way we can win from a weak position. By presenting a strong posture to Caltrans/Metro we are able to negotiate alternative solutions to the 710. Plus we must work not only with Sacramento, but also with Washington to secure legislation that will eliminate funding for Caltrans/Metro with restrictions tied to their current projects. Finally we need to educate the regional community at large through our coalition partners. Educate folks on the increase in traffic that will occur on the 210 from the 710 completion. As the only City Council Candidate with civil engineering experience and international/national business experience, I have the skills needed to think outside the box and bring a fresh approach for a better South Pasadena. My stance this and other important issues are spelled out at www.glaeser4council.com.
Dr. Bill Sherman November 03, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Brian, To asses where the traffic on Alhambra and South Pasadena Streets comes from is really not hard to do. You scan the license plates in representative times as a sample and then you find where the cars are registered. If this were done on Fremont at Valley, Main Street, Huntington Drive, and Columbia one could speak with absolute knowledge about the source of the problem. Once you know the source of the problem it will allows you to find a solution. Will Metro or Caltrans do this? How about Alhambra? How about South Pasadena? There has to be a better solution than a tunnel. Dr. Bill Sherman
Clyde Williams November 03, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Thanks for your position...Welcome to the trip - I have been on it in El Sereno for only 20 years. Having engineering and Natl/Internatl experience doesn't really mean much all of the Caltrans consultants and many for MTA have similar background and here we are - Me - 20yr with Parsons Corp., 7 yr with URS, 15 years Dubai World and lots of tunneling everywhere but also 30 years of EIRs/EISs/EAs etc, BUT actually LETs TRANSFER the money - we do need the money for ElSereno's TransMode and SoPas' MultiMode Alternatives both of which could really reduce the miles travelled and improve the LOS on all streets and Huntington Dr Freeway.... OBTW the Scoping also proposed an elevated alternative along Meridian in Alhambra City as they are doing in Texas - so now it should be - oppose under, on, and above the ground... With say $4B rather than the cost of say $10B for a project in the 100sqmi project area of CT/MTA, we could fund say $40M/sq mi and assuming 10 linear miles/sqmi = $4M/mile which could do alot of improvements usually submitted as MTA's "Call for Projects" ($50-100M per year). with a backlog of >$300M worth of project NOW... 10,000 projects of $400K each could be done before the 710 tunneling machine could start boring, using local contractors (few could afford insurance and securities for $1B projects) AND local DoTs AND local construction employees rather than those of Tutor or Keiwit and keep most/all of the money in LACo. Welcome aboard
Sam Burgess November 03, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Chris, You state you are opposed to the 710 above ground or below ground. 8 of the 9 candidates make the same claim. But only one, Rick Schneider, has publicly opposed the extension of the 710 in any form AND in any direction. This is an important distinction. To say one is opposed to the 710 in any form but to then state or imply it would be permissable to build the freeway somewhere other than though the City of South Pasadena is, quite simply, NIMBY's. My attempts at getting all the candidates to be more specific have been less than fruitful. Where do you stand?
Alan Reynolds November 03, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Sam, Though I am not Chris, I will try to address this as well. I oppose the extension of the 710 above and below ground, in any direction. I do not think that Alhambra needs any more trucks and cars either (which is what a southern expansion would cause) and it does not solve the real issue of getting goods from the Port of Los Angeles to outlying areas. After hearing and reading presentations from various groups and personal observations while previously working as an Environment Engineer for a study at the Port, we need to get the containters on trains to a real hub area. This will reduce infrastructure costs at the port, and help the environment as well. Having been an outside sales engineer and driven extensively on our southern california freeways, the solution to our problem is not more freeways, anywhere, in anyone's "back yard", but to reduce the truck traffic. If we get a multi-modal solution in place for the whole region, we can reduce traffic on all our freeways, fix a myriad of issues that are plagueing the region, and cut costs to our state, which last I checked was broke. Oh and stop the passage of more freeways, including the 710.
Dr. Bill Sherman November 03, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Well said Alan. Dr. Bill Sherman
Sam Burgess November 03, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Thank you, Alan.
Ernest Arnold November 03, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Sam, come one now. We have talked enough and I have posted enough comments that my position should be clear. The only reason the freeway has been stopped is because South Pasadena as an incorporated city refused to agree to the Meridian Route. Our history was the Westery Route, but not our future. We went no Freeway around 1988 with the formation of Citizens United to Save South Pasadena. If this was 1970 I would have a different answer, but this is 2011. There is no justification for the freeway in any form.
Victor November 03, 2011 at 10:35 PM
“As the only City Council Candidate with civil engineering experience . . . .” Gosh, you sound like Rudy Giuliani invoking 9/11. It seems to be your answer for everything. Potential fines due to sewer problems caused by an aging infrastructure? How do you reply: “my Civil Engineering experience will be an asset to the City and protect us from fines of $2.8 Million.” Fines – goodbye! And now, your civil engineering experience will give us the firepower to finally defeat the 710. It’s a wonder that we were able to stave off the freeway for more than 40 years without you. We already have professional engineers working for our Public Works department. Would you substitute your apparently superior judgment for theirs, or micromanage that department? Should we expect the other councilmembers to defer to your experience? Based on your premise, one wonders how the Council could even survive without members who are experts in the areas of labor relations, historic preservation, municipal finance, urban planning, and the myriad of other issues it faces. I had believed that such expertise was supplied by the professionals on staff, augmented by the contributions of our volunteer commissions – and that what we wanted on the council were members who had integrity, intelligence, humility, and true dedication to public service. If civil engineering experience really is your primary qualification, why don’t you apply to be Public Works Director instead?
Sam Burgess November 03, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Ernie, I will never argue you and your mothers great service to South Pasadena in stopping the freeway through South Pasadena. Only a fool would do such a thing. Yes, we have talked plenty and I have learned more from you than any other concerning 710 issues. Of this I am most appreciative. But your last sentence is why I have been asking my more specific question. Do you oppose the extension of the 710 freeway in any form AND in any direction?
Marvion November 04, 2011 at 06:46 AM
more freeway shop till~u~drop pink monday.. put it thur heaven above and hell below

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