Assemblymember Chris Holden Announces Legislation to Stop 710 Freeway Tunnel

Thursday, February 9, 2017

South Pasadena, CA – Assemblymember Chris Holden and a coalition of city councilmembers, community leaders, and non-profit organizations gathered outside Mission Street Metro Station to announce the introduction of Assembly Bill 287. AB 287 finds a solution to the State Route 710 corridor gap between the I-10 and I-210 freeways and prohibits the construction of a freeway tunnel.

“With billions of state dollars at stake and no hard evidence pointing to traffic relief for the San Gabriel Valley, it is clear that building a freeway tunnel is not a prudent option,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “In light of California’s landmark climate legislation that mandates the rapid reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions, makes clear that the I-710 North tunnel project is a misguided and obsolete solution.”

“Residents in El Sereno and the West San Gabriel Valley want more options, more transportation, less congestion and less smog,” said Damon Nagami, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Southern California Ecosystems Project. “Instead of spending billions on a flawed project that will put more cars on the road and increase pollution, we should invest in solutions that would actually improve people’s transportation options while also helping the environment.”

Last year, the proposed multi-billion dollar 710 Tunnel Project made the top 12 list of most wasteful highway expansion projects across the country in a report by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Education Fund.

“Our research tells us that millennials want to live, work, and thrive in walkable, sustainable neighborhoods,” said Will Eley, Policy Advocate for CALPIRG. “They demand transportation options, and another car-centric road or tunnel is just more of the same. A tunnel project would not only be costly for Californians in the short term, but would exacerbate pollution and traffic for decades to come.”

Assembly Bill 287 creates the I-710 Gap Corridor Transit Zone Advisory Committee with representation from Alhambra, Los Angeles, Pasadena, South Pasadena, the Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Members of the Legislature representing corridor gap. The committee will review a wide range of traffic calming, green space and mass transit options for the 6.2 mile gap and recommend a viable, community supported solution to the Department of Transportation. The bill specifically prohibits the Department of Transportation from constructing a freeway tunnel between the I-210 and I-10 freeways.

“As our state and cities integrate smart growth, new technologies and transit oriented development into our evolving transportation infrastructure, large freeway projects like the State Route 710 Tunnel are no longer necessary or environmentally sustainable.” said Holden.