LA Council: Just Say No to the 710 Extension

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Three Los Angeles City Council members Wednesday opposed plans to extend the Long Beach Freeway  through parts of LA.

Saying it "seems to be impractical and not cost-effective," City Council President Eric Garcetti and councilmen Jose Huizar and Ed Reyes filed a resolution to oppose any freeway extension that would cut through El Sereno, Mount Washington, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

"It makes no sense from a traffic relief standpoint," Huizar said.

Instead, the councilmen recommended conducting a study to examine the feasibility of building a tunnel to link from the 710 Freeway to the 210 Foothill Freeway.

Under the proposal, the tunnel would pass underneath El Sereno, South Pasadena and Alhambra. The tunnel opening would be built south of Valley Boulevard to eliminate disruption to the residential neighborhoods in El Sereno.

"The resolution does not in any way mean that I support a tunnel," Huizar said. "I will wait to see the data before making a decision one way or the other on the tunnel, but make no mistake, I intend to work side-by-side with the El Sereno community to protect our homes and our community."

In January, Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began conducting boring and seismic reflection activities at 33 locations across the city to determine if a tunnel would be feasible. Such a project may cost at least $3-billion.

Caltrans has been trying connect the Long Beach Freeway to the Foothill Freeway for several decades, but has been unable to get past legal challenges from South Pasadena and other cities.

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