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Council Backs Five-City Study of 710 Extension’s Impact

Published on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 | 5:33 am

[ Editor’s Note: This article originally incorrectly stated the date and location of Metro’s next meeting. That information has been corrected.]

A five-city collaboration to ensure an independent and accurate assessment of the impacts of the controversial SR-710 freeway extension picked up the financial support of Pasadena City Council Monday night.

Pasadena will join Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena to each contribute $50,000 toward completing further analysis of the specific environmental impact on the five cities regarding the proposed project.

The SR-710 freeway proposes to link the current 710 freeway with the 210 freeway. One proposed alternative includes linking the freeways with a tunnel under Pasadena that would break records for the longest freeway tunnel infrastructure.

More than twenty members of the public voiced support for the study with no opposition at Monday’s council meeting.

“In terms of this 710 extension, the construction would require the removal of 200 million cubic feet of dirt, for a total of 450,000 truckloads. That means 128 truckloads transported through our area every single day, seven days a week for ten years,” Michael Cornwell said during public comments.

Although Councilmember Steve Madison tried for a third time to take a full-council position against the SR-710 tunnel proposal, he was met by requests from fellow Councilmembers to wait for the Environmental Impact Report, which will be released in March.

“People are terrified by this. It is a terrifying prospect that would absolutely render Pasadena an entirely different city. It’s with no small amount of irony that we started tonight with talking about events that take place in West Pasadena every year that make us the epicenter, the glow on New Year’s Day, this would absolutely destroy that. This is like a dystopian nightmare,” Madison said.

When the draft environmental impact report is released in March, a sixty-day comment period will ensue. The five-cities have asked that the comment period be extended to 120 days.

“We are looking for factual predicate upon which to make the decision and I believe it may be premature to take a position at this point,” Councilmember John Kennedy said.

Wednesday, January 15, will be the day Metro votes about whether or not to extend the comment period.  The meeting will be from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm at the Metro Board Room, 3rd Floor, One Gateway Plaza in Los Angeles.  For more information visit

Mayor Bill Bogaard or a member of the Council will represent the City of Pasadena’s request for extension at the meeting.

“Really a matter of time…” Michael Beck said. “It’s up to Metro whether they extend the timeline. If we have sixty day to do all the analysis, there isn’t going to be time to take some analysis through to the commission.

The cumulative $250,000 will be contributed to five areas of analysis: legal/CEQA consultant, transportation consultant, air quality consultant, soli geology, and safety/security consultant.

The analysis will add to the report that will city staff will conduct as for other projects.


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