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Group opposes South Pasadena 710 Freeway extension

September 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The proposed extension of the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena would allow drivers to stay on the freeway instead of exiting and taking local streets. But not everyone wants the road built.

It would be just 4.5 miles long. It's a small stretch of road that continues to bring big controversy.

"This is a bad project that will negatively affect the San Gabriel Valley," said state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena).

It's the proposed extension of the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. The MTA says it is the final piece of the puzzle to complete the transportation system in the region.

"It's probably the number one link that has to be dealt with. It's a 4.5-mile north-south connection of the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena, but it affects the whole region," said MTA spokesman Marc Littman.

The MTA says now cars have to exit the freeway and travel on congested local streets. It is studying several different options. One possibility is a tunnel.

Thursday a group of mayors, politicians and community members held a news conference to say they don't want it.

"This tunnel idea is ill-conceived," said Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian. "It is impossible to fund and will do nothing to solve our traffic and mobility issues in the region."

MTA officials say Fremont Avenue is one of the congested streets. Drivers use it to go from one freeway to another.

The MTA says they are in the first year of a three-year environmental study. The first phase will be finished in November.

"It's premature at this point to say we've jumped to conclusions or we should take one of the alternatives off the table," said Littman.

MTA officials stress they have not come to any decision and all options are still on the table.


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