Liu: Toss the 710 tunnel from study

State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) on Tuesday called for regional transportation officials to eliminate consideration of a tunnel extending the Long Beach (710) Freeway to Pasadena, becoming the latest to lawmaker to stake out a position in an increasingly hot debate.

Liu on Tuesday wrote to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, asking that the tunnel option be tossed from the MTA's on-going environmental report on closing the 710 gap. Last week Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) told MTA leaders he believed the tunnel would be too costly and is widely opposed by nearby residents.

On Sunday, state Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) wrote a letter saying the tunnel would ease congestion for his San Gabriel Valley constituents and should remain an option.

Liu, whose district includes longtime tunnel opponents Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge as well as Pasadena, San Gabriel and Temple City, wrote, "The tunnel option is not feasible, not now, not ever, for several reasons. It is too expensive, it is too disruptive, it does not solve the problem of growing truck traffic."

Liu also argued in her letter that the tunnel project would divert funds from other transportation projects that have broad-based support, such as increasing capacity on existing roadways and on the Gold Line light rail system.

-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

Twitter: @ValleySunDan