Portantino's 710 Extension Extinguisher Bill Advances

Published : Friday, August 30, 2019 | 4:13 PM

State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (speaking) at a press conference in Pasadena on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 to present the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 710 Freeway Corridor to the public, which signaled the beginning of the end for the decades-long project.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino’s (D) bill to douse the last, flickering embers of the 710 Freeway tunnel extension has reached another legislative milepost.

SB 7 passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee Aug. 30, leaving it one floor vote away from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) desk.

Back in Dec. 2016, when officialdom had finally coalesced to bury the controversial road/tunnel building project, it was established that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority would approve an alternative transportation plan and an environmental impact report would be generated to reflect that action.

Afterward, “Portantino would author legislation to formally prevent the construction of the tunnel, remove the 710 freeway from streets and highway code, lay the foundation for resolution of the stubs and help tenants in the corridor,” according to the senator’s office.

S.B. 7 is that legislation.

It is a house-cleaning bill, but without it, the possibility of a 710 extension/tunnel revival would persist.

In his classic, “The Power Broker,” Robert Caro detailed how New York infrastructure king Robert Moses would foil project opponents by unearthing forgotten statutes he’d written decades earlier as an aide to New York Gov. Al Smith (D).

So it happens.

“It will be a new day in Pasadena when the 710 Freeway is history,” said Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek. “SB 7 enusre that outcome and helps all of us turn our attention to solving local traffic needs, raising the funding necessary to purchase the nonprofit properties, and brings some relief to tenants’ in Caltrans’ affordable rent program.”

Tornek called Portantino “dogged in his efforts” to fight the project and replace it with something that serves the community.







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