Freedom From Caltrans
Locals to march against 710 tunnel plan during South Pas Independence Day
By André Coleman 07/03/2014
Hundreds of people are expected to march in South Pasadena Friday against plans to build a tunnel under South Pasadena to connect the Long Beach (710) Freeway in Alhambra with the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena.
According to Joanne Nuckols, spokesperson for the No 710 Action Committee, the march will take place during the South Pasadena Festival of Balloons Fourth of July Parade, which begins at 11 a.m. Friday on Diamond Avenue and Oxley Street.
“Last year we had 150 people march during the parade and it was very successful,” Nuckols told the Pasadena Weekly. “And this year we expect many more. People are really upset with the amount of money that is being wasted on studies on this project. People feel this is a way they can speak out and get their point across. We want more non-highway transportation solutions, Gold Line rail and transit expanded rather than a highway that would cost billions of dollars that would bring more traffic to the area.”
According to the Southern California Association of Governments, the tunnel project could cost $12 billion. Critics claim that the project is a West Coast version of Boston’s Big Dig, which rerouted Interstate 93 — the chief highway through the heart of the city — into a 3.5-mile-long tunnel. The project ended up costing $24 billion, nearly eight times the original projected $2.8 billion price tag.
Caltrans wants to bore under several communities starting just north of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway to Pasadena Avenue, near Huntington Hospital — along the path of an original overland freeway connector route originally proposed more than 50 years ago. The designation of that route led to the purchase of hundreds of homes in that area of Pasadena, South Pasadena and the Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno beginning in the mid 1950s. Caltrans decided to put a halt to plans for the above-ground route several years ago.
Two years ago, Metro came up with a number of “alternative” routes for the proposed connector route, one of which included tunneling underneath parts of Avenue 64 through Highland Park and West Pasadena. Another plan proposed turning the residential street into a six-lane highway. Both options would have included the destruction of hundreds of area homes.