Published : Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | 3:30 PM
Sen. Anthony Portantino called proposed 710 freeway tunnel extension “dead,” and said it wasn’t “going to happen,” reports the South Pasadenan. He also said that while it could come back at any time, from his perspective, he wants to put all concerns to bed.
Portantino, who represents Pasadena in the 25th State Senate District, has been vocal about his opposition to the idea in the past.
The 710 project currently ends at Valley Boulevard just outside Alhambra city limits, but would go under parts of El Sereno, South Pasadena and Pasadena and end at the 210/134 interchange if it succeeded.
In 2017, the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted on a measure recommending an alternative to the region’s transportation needs other than constructing the SR 710 tunnel.
Metro adopted the Transportation Systems Management/Transportation Demand Management, one of five alternatives from Metro/Caltrans, which calls for traffic signal upgrades and synchronization, street and intersection improvements, bus transit enhancement, while promoting commuter rideshare.
According to Portantino, MTA’s action halts the threat of the 710-tunnel, making room for the homes to be sold. About 50 years ago, Caltrans bought homes along the 710 corridors to make way for construction of the freeway. Caltrans is now selling those homes.
“From the beginning, I said we would kill it administratively, then appropriately down the road we would do some legislation…For all intents and purposes, the freeway is dead…(and) we’ll do something more legislatively, but no one out there must lose one minute of sleep. The preferred alternative is not the tunnel. There are no resources. We’re selling the houses in the corridor of the proposed freeway (surface) route. We’re going to sell the rest of the properties,” Portantino said.
Portantino also said he appreciates the activists who claim the fight is not yet over, “They should keep doing what they are doing. It’s certainly righteous for them to keep one eye open on the situation, but as long as I’m there, it’s not going to happen.”