Local Politics

Pasadena, Alhambra move forward on obtaining twin 710 Freeway stubs from Caltrans

Pasadena has preliminary plans for  retail, housing and green space that would “knit the city back together” by filling in the 710 ditch: the 50-acre concrete ditch running through west Pasadena that was once part of the proposed 710 extension.

The state-owned ditch between California Boulevard and the 210 Freeway represents nearly 2.5 million square feet of potential development next to the thriving Old Pasadena downtown district. Estimates suggest the land’s development could generate tens of millions of dollars in economic benefits.

Pasadena’s biggest concern is for the state transportation agency to sell off the prime real estate adjacent to Old Pasadena and some of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods to the highest bidder. Such an auction would leave the city with little control except to apply de facto zoning regulations, according to a city report from its Department of Transportation.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino’s Senate Bill 7 would permanently prevent a freeway tunnel, surface freeway or expressway from being built to connect the 710 between the 10 and 210 freeways. Assemblyman Chris Holden’s Assembly Bill 29 would remove that stretch of the 710 from the state freeway and expressway system, marking its permanent northbound endpoint at the 10.

However, neither piece of legislation addresses what would become of the freeway stubs, one at the terminus of the 710 that spills onto Valley Boulevard in Alhambra and the 50-acre concrete ditch running through west Pasadena that was once part of the proposed extension.

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