State adopts street improvements over 710 tunnel in EIR released Wednesday

A street-improvement alternative to complete the 710 Freeway gap has been selected over a multibillion-dollar, eight-lane tunnel project, according to the final environmental impact report for the project revealed Wednesday morning in Pasadena.

Signaling an end to the six-decades-long conflict over how to close the freeway, state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) and state Secretary of Transportation Brian Annis held a press conference in Arlington Garden — a public space that lies in what was the originally intended path of the 710 extension from its terminus in Alhambra.

“I’m ecstatic that the EIR was finally signed bringing closure to this six-decade 710 fight,” Portantino said in a prepared statement. “Generations of neighbors on both sides of this issue passionately pushed their perspectives, and now we can all turn our attentions to collaboratively solving local transportation needs.

“This removes the threat of the freeway and allows Caltrans to sell the balance of properties acquired to facilitate its construction. No matter what side you were on, every activist should feel proud of their work through the years and of this final resolution.”

Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek characterized the event as a “historic day” for his city “and our region.”

Portantino said his next step will be to introduce a bill that would, if approved, formally remove the tunnel from the streets and highway code.

Twitter: @CarolCormaci