The Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill last week allowing the California Dept. of Transportation to build the long-delayed extension of the Long Beach Freeway through South Pasadena without the city's agreement.
After two hours of debate July 5, the committee voted 6 to 2 in favor of the bill proposed by Assemblywoman Diane Martinez (D-Rosemead).
The committee was considered a major challenge for the bill that has already received approval from the Assembly.
"We are very pleased. This was one of our toughest hurdles," said Mary Kelley, spokesman for the city of Alhambra, which supports the freeway extension because it would pull traffic from the city's streets.
South Pasadena, a decades-long foe of the freeway extension, is one of four cities on the proposed 6.2-mile extension to run north from the San Bernardino Freeway to the Foothill Freeway. South Pasadena officials vowed to take the fight to the Senate floor, where opposition is likely to be strongest.