Controversial 710 battle ends in unanimous Metro decision

Illustration by Isabella Frescura

Los Angeles’ Metro Board unanimously voted down the proposed I-710 extension May 25th, effectively ending a 50-year controversy between neighboring cities in the LA area. If passed, the freeway extension would have run through the center of South Pasadena, relocating businesses and residents.

The five-mile tunnel, last revised May 17th by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was set to connect the local 710 and 210 freeways an alternative to the preliminary surface extension. The Authority invited several hundreds of local residents, including representatives from opposing groups ‘710 Coalition’ and ‘Beyond the 710.’ Following public comment, the board voted to withdraw the 3.2 billion dollar option, eliminating the possibility of interruption through the cities of El Sereno, Pasadena, and South Pasadena.

$700 million of the funding instead will go toward transportation fixes in the city of Alhambra, the primary affected area of traffic and off-freeway congestion. Another $105 million of the remaining money will be allotted to additional freeway ramp meters and capacity enhancements, addressing concerns of groups in support of the 710 extension.

“This means that [South Pasadena] now can rest after [decades] from fighting this race of a freeway,” City Councilmember Marina Khubesrian said. “We now get to focus our energy and resources to making our city as healthy, safe, and sustainable as possible.”

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