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EIR relating to proposed 710 extension delayed

L.A. County transportation officials say delay was needed to more fully analyze population statistics.

April 25, 2014|By Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com
  • A map of the Long Beach (710) Freeway, currently under consideration for an extension.
A map of the Long Beach (710) Freeway, currently under… (File Graphic )

Los Angeles County transportation officials have pushed back its release of an environmental report regarding 710 Freeway extension proposals, local officials learned this week.

Once available, the data provided in the draft Environmental Impact report will be analyzed by a group called the '5 Cities Alliance,' a partnership between Glendale, La Cañada, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Sierra Madre that allows the cities to pool their resources for one joint study as opposed to each city paying for a separate study.

“We’re all interested in finding out the facts, so at this stage, it’s too early for this to be an advocacy group,” La Cañada City Manager Mark Alexander said during a Monday meeting with that city’s council. “It’s all just fact-finding at this stage, and peer review.”

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the delay was needed to more fully analyze population statistics which, in turn, are crucial to evaluating the ideas being studied, officials said in a April 17 release.

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Currently, five alternatives are being considered, including the expansion of rapid transit systems or taking no action at all. Alliance members have said they are most concerned with a proposal to construct a 4.9 mile, dual-bore tunnel that would allow trucks to travel from Alhambra to Pasadena.

The Alliance, Alexander has said, provides a means for the five potentially impacted cities to pool data and resources to more efficiently respond to the findings.

Just how long the group will have to do just that — and when it will begin — are unknown.

Legally, transportation officials must provide 45 days for the public to respond. Several local officials, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), have written letters requesting an extension to 120 days, according to Ann Wilson, a senior management analyst with the city of La Cañada Flintridge who spoke at Monday night’s meeting.

“Caltrans did write a letter in response, saying they had not decided the length, and stating they had to balance the needs of those wanting to expedite the process with the needs of those wanting to comment,” Wilson told the council.

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