Two I-710 Bills Will No Longer Contain Language Relinquishing Stubs

July 24, 2019

Two state bills that would prevent the construction of a SR-710 extension tunnel will not include language addressing the possibility that Caltrans would relinquish control of the northern and southern stubs to a local city, according to state officials who were present at a meeting discussing freeway traffic in the San Gabriel Valley.

State Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), who represents the 22nd District where many of the western San Gabriel Valley cities affected by I-710 traffic are located, said that she spoke with Assemblyman Chris Holden when his I-710 bill was being considered by the Senate Transportation Committee. The Holden bill, AB 29, would take the I-710 extension area out of the state freeway and expressway system, and passed the Assembly on May 29 with an amendment allowing specific parts of the stubs to be handed over to Alhambra, Pasadena and South Pasadena, once transportation projects are complete.

Rubio, who sits on the Senate Transportation Committee, told those assembled at the meeting that she told Holden she could not support the bill if language relinquishing the stubs was still included, believing that they’re a critical component of the transportation infrastructure in the area. She said that all cities affected by traffic at the southern stub, which ends at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, should have input into what happens it.

“There’s anxiety around the stubs and closing the stubs,” Rubio said, adding that she had heard concerns from multiple cities and stakeholders, including the city of Los Angeles and Cal State LA that closing the southern stub would impede access to the university campus and to the L.A. neighborhood of El Sereno.

Rubio previously stated her opposition to turning the southern stub into a regional park, an idea which had been discussed in Alhambra. Alhambra City Councilmember Jeff Maloney, a proponent of the park plan, represented the city along with City Manager Jessica Binnquist. He said that the city would not have done anything that would push traffic to other cities, and was aware that closing the southern stub would be “extreme.” Discussions related to reconfiguration and other alternatives had been on the table. He added that Alhambra is committed to making an informed data-driven decision on how to alleviate traffic around the stub using traffic modeling.

Rubio also met with state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada). She said that Portantino assured her that he would not include language about the relinquishment of the southern stub in his bill, SB 7, without consensus from cities affected by traffic at the stub. SB 7 would mainly prevent a surface road or tunnel from being built in the SR-710 extension area. It passed the Senate in May and was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee on July 1.

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