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Opponents Launch New Effort Against 710 Freeway Extension Plans

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A coalition of transportation and public officials on Thursday voiced their opposition to a long-running plan to connect the 710 and 210 Freeways.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports the mayors of several Southland cities joined the debate over the proposed extension just north of the 10 Freeway.

Mayors William Bogaard of Pasadena, Frank Quintero of Glendale, Stephen A. Del Guercio of La Canada Flintridge and Michael A. Cacciotti of South Pasadena were among those on hand at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) building in downtown Los Angeles to denounce what they say is “a fiscally irresponsible project that has lost all credibility amongst community members.”

Among five different proposals being considered: a five-mile tunnel that would range between $1 billion and $14 billion in total costs, in addition to potentially major environmental risks to communities.

MTA Board of Directors member Ara Najarian said the proposal is unnecessarily expensive and outdated.

“It’s an attempt to shove an Eisenhower Administration transportation plan onto contemporary Los Angeles,” said Najarian.

Mayor Steve Del Guercio summed up the views of residents of Glendale, Pasadena, and South Pasadena – most of whom he said oppose any further study of the tunnel option.

“The tunnel project has too few benefits, too many detriments, and costs far, far too much,” said Del Guercio.

The Long Beach (710) Freeway – which currently ends just north of the 10 Freeway – has long been targeted for an extension proposals that have included surface roads, bridges and tunnels.

Residents in Eagle Rock, Highland Park and other cities lauded a vote by the Los Angeles City Council in August to oppose any extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway.

Despite public calls for the option to be removed from the study, MTA officials said they are only in the first of a three-year analysis of the options, and state law prohibits the removal of a feasible option from being considered.

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