By Melanie C. Johnson, September 4, 2013
The Monrovia City Council supports closure of the 710 freeway gap between Pasadena and El Sereno but does not favor any particular method for doing so at this time.
The council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to reaffirm a previous resolution dating back to 1989 supporting the gap's closure, but altered the language at the urging of Councilman Alexander Blackburn as to not appear to be in favor of more freeway construction specifically.
Councilman Tom Adams voted no.
Adams said while he supports the 710 freeway gap closure, he doesn't think it will ever be completed.
"It's to a point now where we're throwing good money after bad," he said. "If you can't get this done in 50 years, than you probably can't."
During a public hearing that lasted more than three hours, proponents and opponents of the project, mostly from neighboring cities, shared their views on long-delayed project.
Doug Failing, executive director of Metro's highway program, gave a presentation on five alternatives being studied: one that calls for doing nothing, a second involves improvements to intersections, a third would boost bus routes, a fourth pushes for more light rail, and the fifth is freeway construction that includes a tunnel.
Hassan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Associated Governments, said his organization will respect whatever alternative is chosen but doing nothing is not an option.
"Whatever it is, this gap needs to be closed," he said. "We're talking about millions of people being affected."
However, opponents of the closure are convinced that the tunnel is really the only option on the table.
Michael Cacciotti, a South Pasadena councilman, presented the opposition's side and called on Monrovia to join his city, Los Angeles, La Canada-Flintridge, Glendale, and Sierra Madre in fighting the extension.
Cacciotti said the way to close the gap is to bolster the light rail system, not open up the 710 freeway and other highways to more traffic.
"What would happen if the 710 opened up," he asked. "It would be a nightmare on this 210."
Monrovia city officials said the public has been vocal on both sides of the issue. City Manager Laurie Lile said the city received about 60 emails on the subject.
In recent months, Monrovia also has received requests from the city of Alhambra and the city of South Pasadena, the former asking for reaffirmation and the latter calling for opposition of further consideration of the project, according to a report to council.
After a discussion, the council members opted to agree to vote for the process of evaluating the options to continue. Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said a vote against the resolution would be saying no to all options, including the light rail one.
"There will be more traffic no matter what gets done," Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said. "The resolution we are talking about reaffirming does not speak to any specific method of continuing the 710."
Would you like to see the 710 freeway gap closed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Comments to the article:
Buzlightyear aka marty September 04, 2013 at 06:45 PM
710, 710, 710 blah, blah blah......I remember in 1987, I read it was finally approved. My friend laughed and said, "I have heard that my whole life. I won't believe that until I see it." This has been going on for 60-80 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_710#History I think we will be teletranporting before this is resolved.
rubberband September 04, 2013 at 06:59 PM
We should just close it off, BUT LEAVE it like it stands, and put a restaurant there...RIGHT THERE in that weird wth spot......make it a dive-diner with sassy old school old waitresses and awesome diner food. It'd be incredible! Call it "The 710 Wait"...... and maybe it can make back some of the money that has been lost with a huge cult following...t-shirts that read "The 710 is coming...someday...meanwhile have a burger!' ---
rubberband September 04, 2013 at 07:07 PM
even found ya a pic.....http://www.interstate-guide.com/images710/i-710_ca_fnt_13.jpg------------ pull off RIGHT THERE have a shake and a cheese burger served to ya by a surly brilliant old school waitress, and wait out the traffic.