I’ve read and reread the endless stories about the 710 Freeway extension tunnel. I’ve read the letters to the editor. It seems everyone has opinions. Me too.
My history with that stretch of freeway goes back to 1961 when a friend declared we’d have a freeway all the way to the beach soon. Well, little did I know the Long Beach (710) Freeway had been approved all the way from the harbor to its juncture with the Foothill (210) Freeway back in 1947. Sixty-six years ago.
I cast a critical eye when dollar signs are followed by zeros. However, I do not, as your columnist Mr. Kaye declared, always suspect blood-sucking politicians, unions and construction firms are involved. Or that the guys with the lunch pails building such NIMBY-detested projects are in it just for themselves.
When you come to a screeching halt at the truncated end of the southbound 710 Freeway just below Colorado you know something is wrong. When you try to come home north on the 710 in rush hour traffic through Alhambra you know there is something wrong.
Who will this extension serve? I believe all of Southern California. If Caltrans, city, state and federal bureaucracies, NIMBYs here, NIMBYs there, NIMBYs everywhere can’t get it done in more than 66 years, it’s times for a radical step. Vote. Put it on the ballot and vote. Lest you think I can’t relate: I grew up on a quiet dead end street called Buena Terra which came off Alta Canyada Road, south of Foothill and north of Verdugo. That puts it in the No. 2 lane of the eastbound Foothill (210) Freeway today.