Transit Officials Reject LA-Area Freeway Tunnel

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — A proposed 5-mile tunnel linking two Los Angeles-area freeways could be dead after a transit board rejected the idea.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Thursday to eliminate the tunnel as an option for closing a gap between the 710 freeway in East Los Angeles and the 210 freeway in Pasadena.

The route went through South Pasadena, which has bitterly fought a freeway extension for decades.

About $700 million in county money was available but the total tunnel price tag was about $4 billion and critics said it was unfundable.

Instead, Metro directors voted to fund street and transportation improvements to ease traffic that jams San Gabriel Valley streets in the gap.

Caltrans will vote on the tunnel next year but without Metro support approval is considered unlikely.

“Today’s decision by the Metro Board of Directors was the latest in a long and difficult process.  The motion that I co-authored with Chairman Fasana and Directors Garcetti, Solis and Najarian was about delivering something now for our communities that have been suffering for decades,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, an L.A. County Metro director, said in a statement.

“The Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management option (TSM/TDM), which we identified as the ‘Locally Preferred Alternative,’ will not solve all of the issues — but is an important first step in a process that will continue to play out with local input.” she added.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE logo TM and copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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