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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Long Beach sues Caltrans, OCTA over 405 Freeway widening project


By Eric Bradley, July 14, 2015


Looking South on the 405 Freeway, from Seal Beach Boulevard. Orange County approved toll lanes on the 405 from Seal Beach to Costa Mesa. Seal Beach Calif., Monday July 28, 2014

Long Beach is suing Caltrans and the Orange County Transportation Authority over the $1.7 billion project to expand the 405 Freeway.

The City Council authorized the city attorney in closed session Tuesday to file the lawsuit challenging the environmental documents filed with the plan, which widens the 405 by four lanes through Orange County to just past the Long Beach border.

“We don’t believe it adequately mitigates the impacts to the residents of Long Beach,” City Attorney Charles Parkin said.

The city is seeking additional measures to reduce the impact of increased traffic on local streets, according to Parkin.

OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik said in an email the organization could not comment specifically on the lawsuit without seeing it.

“We have worked closely with Long Beach and every other city along the freeway, and this is disappointing for the hundreds of thousands of people we are trying to help throughout Southern California who get stuck in 405 traffic day after day,” said Zlotnik.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Robert Garcia addressed the issue on Twitter, writing, “The project as planned is unacceptable and would have significant impacts to Long Beach. We will fight this in court.”

The environmental impact report for the 405 expansion lists five intersection that will see improvements in Long Beach related to the widening plans, but assigns about 7-25 percent of the cost for the upgrades to OCTA. The rest is expected to be picked up by the city.

“If we were not to sue, then the city would have to develop plans and identify funds to provide the sufficient mitigations for the traffic problems the OCTA project would cause,” said Arturo Sanchez, deputy city manager.

Construction on the 405 project is scheduled to start next year.

More than 370,000 cars use the stretch of freeway daily, and forecasts say the number will increase by 35 percent by 2040.