June 3, 2014
Several newly-installed banners are going up in the city of Alhambra to support the decades-old effort to ‘Close The Gap’.
ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — “How Do You Spell Relief?”
That’s just one of the slogans featured on several newly-installed
banners in the city of Alhambra to support a 55-year effort to complete a
proposed tunnel that will connect the 710 Freeway at Valley Boulevard
to the 134 and 210 Freeways in Pasadena.
KNX 1070′s Jan Stevens reports the banners will be displayed along
Fremont and Valley Boulevards and will extend north along the main
corridor of Alhambra.
Metro and Caltrans officials announced last month an environmental impact report (EIR) for the State Route 710 North Study will be released for public comment in February 2015.
City Councilwoman Barbara Messina and other supporters of the project
say once it’s completed, the 710 tunnel will slash traffic clogging
local streets by 61 percent, reduce 80,000 daily cut-through trips and
create an estimated 43,000 jobs.
In order to drum up public support for the controversial project, several banners with phrases including “Complete the 710 Freeway” and “Dig It…The 710 Tunnel” will go up starting Tuesday.
Messina said 40 years after the then-$6 million project was
introduced – funding which ultimately was used for the Diamond Lane
project – the cost has skyrocketed to $5 billion.
“There are five alternatives that are being studied, but of the five only one has financing, and that’s the tunnel,” she said.
But opponents like the No 710 Action Committee
argue that vehicle exhaust produced by the increased traffic flow
cannot be properly filtered and will lead to health issues not only for
the drivers who use the tunnel, but also for the surrounding communities
where the exhaust is vented.