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Portantino Wants to See Promised Cost Benefit Analysis on 710 Tunnel

Published on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 | 5:23 pm

Anthony Portantino’s voice is finally being heard.

The former state Assemblyman who hopes to win a seat in the state Senate someday and a longtime 710 Freeway opponent, has repeatedly asked the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to produce a cost benefit analysis to determine if the project is feasible.

“As we all know,” Portantino told a group of Metro officials taking notes at last week’s second of two public hearings on a tunnel route as one of five alternatives to ease traffic congestion in the region, “that has never been done.”

He reminded those from the transportation agencies and the public that two years ago a cost benefit analysis benefit was promised on the record at the California Transportation Commission meeting attended by Caltrans and Metro officials.

On March 6, Caltrans and Metro released a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) on proposals regarding the 4.5 mile gap between the I-210 Freeway in Pasadena and the end of the I-710 freeway in East Los Angeles.

Representatives from Caltrans and Metro, according to Portantino, stated that when the EIR/EIS would be released, a cost benefit analysis would be part of it.

“Where’s the cost benefit analysis,” asked Portantino during the April 14 pubic hearing at the Pasadena Convention Center. Earlier this year, the former politician wrote a letter to the CTC asking for a response to his concern.

It was learned late last week that the CTC may halt the environmental approved process and pull back its funding to the pair of transportation agencies unless a cost benefit analysis can be produced. Will Kempton, CTC’s executive director, made the demand in an April 1 letter to Caltrans and Metro.

Portantino said a cost benefit analysis is key in studying the economics behind constructing a 4.5-mile tunnel from the 710 terminus at Valley Blvd. in Los Angeles, just outside the Alhambra city limits, to the 210/134 freeway interchange in Pasadena.

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