To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Monday, December 10, 2012

Letter from Huntington Hospital Against the 710 Connector 
Dear All ~
I've attached a letter sent to us by Sylvia Plummer.

Please take a moment to read the pdf, which was written by Pasadena 
Huntington Hospital's Jane Haderlein, Senior Vice President.
Mrs. Haderlein lays out a very strong case against the 710 connector in 
such close proximity to the hospital.
It has excellent facts which we should read, I believe.

Thank you!
Carla (Riggs)

Metro Express Lane Savings


In recognition of 12-12-12, a unique date that occurs only once every 100 years, Metro ExpressLanes is offering a ONE DAY only $12 rebate in toll credits. Open a FasTrak® account at any of our participating locations on December 12, 2012 and receive $12 in toll credits.

This special, limited time promotion is offered in addition to discounts already available to Auto Club (AAA) members and at select retail locations. AAA members receive a 20% discount, and shoppers of Albertsons and select Costco stores receive a 10% discount. Click here to access a map of retail locations.
The FasTrak transponder is available for immediate access along the I-110 ExpressLanes corridor and it works with all other California toll facilities. It will also work on the I-10 ExpressLanes when they open in early 2013.
For more information on where to get FasTrak, how ExpressLanes will work, and the Carpool Loyalty Program, see the videos here.
You can also follow us on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest news.
Note: All drivers (including carpools) that want to use the ExpressLanes must sign up and register for FasTrak. Carpools of two or more are not charged a toll with FasTrak.

Adhesive degradation may have caused collapse (of the Sasago Tunnel)


 (Dec. 11, 2012)

Degradation of resin adhesive may have caused the deadly collapse that claimed nine lives in the Sasago Tunnel on the Chuo Expressway in Yamanashi Prefecture on Dec. 2, according to investigative sources.

The anchor bolts used to fix steel plates to the tunnel's concrete roof were found to have slipped out although they were still covered in resin adhesive, the sources said. The plates were used to suspend the ceiling panels in the tunnel.

The Yamanashi prefectural police will continue investigations to determine whether the expressway's operator, Central Nippon Expressway Co. (NEXCO-Central), and its subsidiary in charge of its maintenance, recognized the danger of such degradation.

The prefectural police, which are investigating NEXCO-Central on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injury and death, have continued on-site inspections since last Tuesday along with experts, including university professors well-versed in civil engineering.

According to investigative sources, most of the dislodged bolts showed no signs of corrosion and were covered in resin adhesive.

Police then began to suspect that adhesive degradation loosened the bolts to the point where they were unable to support the ceiling panels, which each weigh more than one ton. This caused both the steel plates and the panels to collapse.

According to NEXCO-Central, the bolts were fixed to the tunnel roof by inserting the bolts into holes filled with adhesive.

The prefectural police plan to inspect the condition of the resin adhesive in parts of the tunnel where the ceiling panels did not collapse.

Pasadena City Council To Vote On 710 Freeway Extension


Officials with Metropolitan Transportation Authority have been considering several options for alleviating traffic in the area where the Long Beach (710) Freeway ends just north of the 10 Freeway near Alhambra and the University Hills area.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar initially introduced a resolution opposing five proposed routes for extending the 710 Freeway, but the L.A. City Council adopted a resolution in August opposing any freeway extensions that cut through the city.

The debate over the project spans four decades with a total of five options on the table to fill the more than 6-mile gap between the San Bernardino and Foothill freeways.
Pasadena officials like Councilwoman Jacque Robinson said she wants to hear from all sides before taking an official position.

“Because we don’t have…a complete [Environmental Impact Report] yet, which would study the tunnel as well as the remaining options that the Metro is taking under consideration, I think it would be a bad precedent for us as a Council to take a position,” Robinson said.

City leaders have been reluctant to weigh on the proposed extension ahead of a legal opinion on limitations imposed by Measure A, which voters passed in 2001 in support of completing the project.

Robinson said one possibility is the Council will vote to oppose the tunnel, but they may also opt to send the issue back to voters in a ballot measure.

“If we are going to be taking a position as a city against the tunnel option, then everyone should have the opportunity to participate in that decision, meaning that it should be placed on a future ballot,” she said.

The council meeting will begin tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center and will be streamed live on the city’s website.

City Council Set to Take 710 Freeway Stand Tonight

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 | 5:35 AM


It happens tonight.

After months of official silence, the Pasadena City Council is poised to take a definitive position on the controversial and sometimes emotional issue of the 710 Long Beach Freeway extension.
At present, Metro has narrowed down the options for the 710 gap closure project to five, including “no build,” bus, light rail, traffic management solutions and a tunnel. None of the proposals have yet been officially opposed or supported by the Council.

This comes after the Council rejected three proposed alternatives and declined to take a united stand on the issue in August. Some residents believe the council avoided voting for the record at that time so that the freeway extension wouldn’t become an issue in the State Assembly campaign of former City Councilman Chris Holden, but city officials said they were awaiting a legal opinion.

The Council’s position must be in line with Measure A, approved by the voters in 2001, that supports “completing the 710 freeway between I-10 and I-210.”

Councilman Steve Madison sponsored a resolution in August to oppose the tunnel option proposed by Metro. But then-Councilmember Chris Holden countered that the council should solicit an outside legal opinion to determine any restrictions imposed under Measure A.

Tonight’s Council agenda puts recommended alternative routes before the Council to support.
City Manager Michael Beck will submit city staff recommendations to the Council, including a busline and light rail.

The proposed Bus Rapid Transit line would connect Alhambra to Pasadena generally along Fair Oaks Avenue, Colorado Boulevard, Hill/Lake Avenue and California Boulevard.

The Light Rail Transit (LRT) line would connect Alhambra to Pasadena in an underground route generally along Fair Oaks Avenue with an underground terminus near Fillmore Street / Arroyo Parkway.

The City staff also recommended that the Council authorize Mayor Bill Bogaard to send a letter to the Metro Board of Directors advising of the City’s preferred alternative and concerns for adequate resolution of the issue.

For its part, Metro said it is completing an Alternatives Analysis prior to preparing an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the selection of a “locally preferred alternative” that will attain the project goal of reducing traffic congestion in the study area for the project, which is generally bordered by State Route 2 and Interstates 10, 210 and 605.

Metro’s current plans anticipate completing the Final Environmental Document in April, 2015,with Metro adopting a Record of Decision by May, 2015.

Meanwhile, the Southern California Association of Governments Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata defended the tunnel option and said it is the only viable approach and SCAG’s Regional Transportation Plan includes the freeway completion as a tunnel.

This has angered many residents in Pasadena who oppose the tunnel because of its perceived adverse effect on the health and economy of affected areas.

Tonight’s meeting will be conducted at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., in order to accommodate an expected large audience. The public meeting starts at 7:00 p.m., with the 710 expected to be considered starting at about 7:30 p.m.