February 8, 2014
The I-710 Corridor Project, considered the largest infrastructure
project in the nation, is a modernization of the freeway stretching from
the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the 60 Freeway. With the
expanding global economy and growing impact of truck traffic on an aging
freeway system, the need to improve existing infrastructure is crucial.
The 710 freeway is the backbone of Southern California commerce, as
trucks travel from the ports to warehouses, rail yards, and intermodal
transportation centers to distribute goods across the country.
Once named the Los Angeles River Freeway, the 710 Freeway extends the
length of the river, through 15 cities and unincorporated areas of Los
Angeles County. Communities along the 18-mile stretch are already
heavily impacted by the congestion, with asthma rates twice the normal,
and cancer risk rates 20 times higher than the federal average according
to the California Air Resources Board. Plans to improve the
infrastructure range from improving its current state, to expanding
lanes from 8 to 16 with dedicated lanes for truck traffic.
While planners are seeking community engagement throughout the planning
process, community organizations are also taking it upon themselves to
ensure that their voices are heard.