The recent tanker truck fire on the 134 Freeway has brought to the forefront an issue that I have been concerned about for some time.
I am grateful that there was no loss of life in this horrendous accident, and I applaud the hard work of all of our first responders. However, I can't imagine the same kind of accident occurring in the proposed 710 tunnel that Metro, Caltrans and the Southern California Assn. of Governments are actively studying and supporting.
If built along the Meridian route as proposed, the tunnel would connect the 710 Freeway to the 210 Freeway. It would be the longest road tunnel in the United States and would have no exits from Valley Boulevard in El Sereno to Del Mar Boulevard in Pasadena. A fire the size of the tanker fire would trap hundreds of cars and trucks about 200 feet underground. The consequences could be catastrophic. This is what happened in the Mont Blanc Tunnel between Italy and France in 1999 in which 39 people lost their lives.
This tunnel project and the other alternatives should be considered very carefully during this environmental impact stage. There are far better solutions to move people and cargo that are also safer for our communities. Let's work together to solve our transportation problems.