710 Tunnel Makes National List of Highway Boondoggles

The headline says it all.

The 710 Tunnel is now considered 1 of 12 highway boondoggles in the country.  No surprise there.

A double-bore tunnel would be the most expensive, most polluting and least effective option for addressing the area’s transportation problems, reported CALPIRG on Monday.

After spending  $40 million on the EIR of March 2015  (of the $780 million set aside from Measure R), and with most of the cities in the San Gabriel Valley against the project (Alhambra  City Council being one of the odd-cities-out that is still supporting an underground freeway), when will CalTrans/Metro finally take this project off the table?

As you know, the 710 Freeway Tunnel would have drivers pay a toll of $6-12/car one-way to use it. The Pasadena Star News reports: “Metro is exploring a public-private partnership, known as P3 funding, meaning the idea is to secure private funding for at least a portion of the freeway tunnels. The investors would be paid back by tolls charged to motorists using the tunnel.”

According to the CALPIRG report, an extension to an existing toll road in southern California is getting shut down on the grounds “that it, and a future additional extension, would threaten local water resources. Other toll roads in the region have failed to attract enough traffic to meet revenue expectations, and data suggest traffic is not growing as quickly as officials had projected.”

Would YOU want to pay $6-12 to drive 4.5 miles underground, with no exits, with the high potential for stand-still traffic at the 210/134 connector? Most drivers currently exiting the 710 in Alhambra  would not even benefit from the tunnel, as they are not all heading straight up to the 210 freeway, but rather are also heading east and west, going to San Marino, South Pasadena, Alhambra and lower Pasadena.  Drivers will continue to use city streets with or without an extension of the 710 for these reasons.

“The 710 project does not offer comprehensive relief, it costs too much, it creates new environmental problems, and it is not going anywhere. The proposal should be dropped!” wrote former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard in reaction to the study.

 

 

 

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