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Meeting set on 710 Freeway extension

July 10, 2007|Ari B. Bloomekatz | Times Staff Writer

South Pasadena today will hold a special public meeting to discuss a proposal to complete the 710 Freeway by tunneling under the city.

The meeting comes as nearby cities such as Alhambra and Monterey Park have expressed support for the plan, which would complete the freeway's "missing link" between the 10 and 210 freeways.

South Pasadena has for decades opposed building the freeway, which would threaten historic homes and neighborhoods. As a result, the 710 dead-ends at Valley Boulevard and the Los Angeles-Alhambra border, causing traffic backups in the area.

The meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers, will include a comprehensive review and status update on the proposed freeway extension, which includes a 4 1/2 -mile tunnel that would move the end of the 710 Freeway from Valley Boulevard in Los Angeles to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena.

City Clerk Sally Kilby said the meeting will be beneficial not only for the public but also for newly elected Councilmen Mike Ten and David Sifuentes, who have not yet met some of the power players in the freeway extension saga.

"Periodically, the City Council gets together and goes over the current status of the 710, and this is an opportunity to do that again with the new council," said Tony Catenacci, South Pasadena's interim transportation manager. "It's an opportunity to provide some good background."

The council will spend a significant portion of its meeting discussing a feasibility study on the tunnel extension conducted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as well as the city of Los Angeles' current position on the proposal.

The MTA study concluded that the project was feasible and that construction costs could range from $2.3 billion to $3.6 billion. The project could take up to 11 years to complete, the study said.

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