Since 2010, Caltrans and Metro have been working together on the State Route 710 North Study to evaluate mobility and identify traffic solutions between the western San Gabriel Valley and the east/northeast area of Los Angeles. The transportation network in this area was started more than half a century ago but was never completed.
The Study is funded by Measure R, which was passed by two-thirds of Los Angeles County voters in 2008, mandating transportation upgrades throughout the County. Measure R specifically allocated $780 million for the SR-710 North traffic congestion relief efforts.
A Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/EIS) was released for public review and comments between March – August 2015. After comparing and weighing the benefits and impacts of a range of multimodal alternatives, reviewing approximately 8,000 comments received and completing the performance evaluation for each of the five alternatives considered in the environmental review process, the alternative that best addresses the purpose and need of the project and the evaluation performance measures is the Single Bore Freeway Tunnel with tolls and truck restrictions.
Five Alternatives were studied in depth in the Draft EIR/EIS .
On May 25, 2017, by a vote of 12-0 , the Metro Board of Directors approved directing the SR-710 North Project funds to local operational improvements to address traffic congestion caused by the 4.5-mile gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. Under the motion approved by the Board, $105 million from Measure R will be used for local improvements listed in the Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM) alternative studied in the environmental document including, traffic signal upgrades and synchronization, local street and intersection improvements, improved connections to existing bus and rail service and the promotion of rideshare in the area. Additionally, the Board action allocates the remaining Measure R funds towards new improvement projects within the SR 710 North Study Area that relieve traffic congestion that is directly related to the existing SR 710 gap in the transportation system.
While the Metro Board adopted the TSM/TDM as the Locally Preferred Alternative, the decision on a Preferred Alternative will be made by Caltrans later this year.
While the analysis of the Draft EIR/EIS identifies the Single Bore Freeway Tunnel with tolls and truck restriction as the Alternative that best addresses the Project’s purpose and need and performance measures, the Metro Board of Directors adopted the TSM/TDM Alternative as the Locally Preferred Alternative at the Meeting on May 25, 2017. The Board also adopted a Motion that reallocates the remaining Measure R funds to projects that will relieve congestion resulting from the SR 710 gap in the transportation system within the SR-710 North Study Area with priority to projects that are proximate to Interstate 10.
Other non-Measure R funds, including those under the SR 710 Rehabilitation Account (funds that are derived from the sale of Caltrans-owned homes along the corridor) will be used for projects located in Pasadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, La Cañada-Flintridge, El Sereno (90032 zip code) in the City of Los Angeles as prescribed by State Law ( Government Code 54237.7) . Still other state and federal funds that were originally allocated to the SR 710 North Project have been directed toward projects in the City of Los Angeles (central subregion) and Unincorporated East Los Angeles.