Los Angeles Metro has approved $515 million for local transportation infrastructure projects, in lieu of completing a project to extend the 710 Long Beach Freeway.

Ending decades of debate, both LA Metro and Caltrans have rejected the 710 Freeway extension project, first proposed in the 1950s. Instead, the agencies are endorsing local roadway and transit improvement projects to ease gridlock, improve traffic flow, and reduce emissions in communities along the I-710 corridor.

“Today we begin the next chapter for those cities that have been affected by this traffic congestion for so long,” said Metro board member and county Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

The LA Metro board voted 8-0 to spend more than half a billion dollars on these improvement projects. Most of the funding comes from $780 million previously set aside in Measure R (a half-cent sales tax adopted by voters in 2008) and earmarked for the 4.3-mile 710 Freeway gap closure tunnel. The freeway will now remain as a 23-mile north-south connector running between Long Beach and Alhambra.

The list of 34 projects includes:

Alhambra: $100 million to remove the southern 710 Freeway stub and end the freeway at the 10 Freeway interchange, and $60 million to improve on- and off-ramps on the 10 Freeway.

Monterey Park: $31 million for road widening projects, and $60 million for the construction of three parking structures that will eliminate street parking to create more lanes of traffic.

South Pasadena: $38 million for interchange improvements on the 110 Freeway

San Gabriel: Over $14 million for intersection improvements, a new roundabout, and new traffic signal control

Los Angeles County/City: $14 million for traffic corridor improvements and traffic signal upgrades

San Marino: $10 million for traffic signal synchronization


Source:  Various