710 FREEWAY GAP CLOSURE CHRONOLOGY

Summary

The 710 Freeway Gap Closure Project is steadily moving toward a ground breaking. Here's a summary of the milestone along the way:

The Details

1933 Route 710 (formerly Route 7) became part of the State Highway System.
1947 Original route design following Atlantic Blvd. was deleted.
1951 Legislature described the route as being from Long Beach to Huntington Drive.
Sept., 1959 Master Plan of Freeways and Expressways extended the route to the Foothill Freeway.
April 20, 1960 Pasadena, South Pasadena, Los Angeles and Alhambra were formally notified by the state of alternatives studies.
May 7, 1964 Seven alternatives were presented by the Division of Highways in a Pasadena public forum.
Sept. 10, 1964 California Highway Commission (CHC) obtained public views in a Pasadena public meeting.
Nov. 18, 1964 The CHC adopted the "Meridian Route."
Dec. 16, 1964 South Pasadena requested reconsideration of route adoption. The request was rejected. (See August, 1966, and October, 1967).
Feb. 15, 1965 The Long Beach Freeway opened between Route 10 and Valley Blvd.
April 16, 1965 City of Los Angeles signed Freeway Agreement.
May 3, 1966 Alhambra signed Freeway Agreement.
Aug. 17/18, 1966 South Pasadena requested reconsideration of route adoption. The request was rejected.
March 30, 1967 Pasadena signed Freeway Agreement.
Oct. 27, 1967 South Pasadena requested reconsideration of route adoption. The request was rejected.
Nov. 21, 1969 CHC directed the Division of Highways to study a "Westerly Route" proposed by South Pasadena.
April 18, 1972 CHC reaffirmed adopted alignment after feasibility study.
Nov. 7, 1972 South Pasadena voters passed Proposition CC to prevent street closures along the Meridian Route.
Nov. 15, 1972 CHC found that the Westerly Route was not feasible.
Jan. 15, 1973 Lawsuit filed by South Pasadena and other organizations in U.S. District Court to stop construction.
March 7, 1973 Litigation resolved by Judge E. Avery Crary. Stipulation required an Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The 210/134/710 Interchange in Pasadena was allowed to be completed.
March 21, 1973 South Pasadena amended its General Plan to show parks across the adopted route.
May 16, 1973 State filed a Superior Court action to prohibit parks on adopted route and to have the adopted route included in the South Pasadena General Plan.
July 16, 1973 Judge David A. Thomas ruled in favor of the state on the parks issue.
March 17, 1975 Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) released for comment.
August, 1975 Legislature passed AB 1716, the Arroyo Seco Park Preservation Act, to rule out any westerly route alternatives which might encroach on the park.
March 24, 1976 Northern portion of the freeway and certain street connections (the "wishbone") opened as a result of favorable District Court action filed by Caltrans and Pasadena.
Sept. 3, 1976 Pasadena filed a District Court action to establish a formal schedule for completing the environmental process.
Sept. 15, 1976 DEIS supplement released for review and comment.
Sept. 21, 1976 District Court established schedule for completion of the environmental process.
October, 1976 Community workshops held to discuss the DEIS.
Dec. 2, 1976 Public hearing in Pasadena
June, 1977 Caltrans submitted a Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recommending a four-lane freeway between Routes 10 and 210.
Aug. 4, 1977 FHWA rejected the FEIS due to route segmentation and lack of local support. All work on the project essentially ended.
March 16, 1982 AB1623 was signed into law by Governor Brown, authorizing the construction of a freeway without a freeway agreement provided certain conditions were met. Environmental schedule established.
October, 1982 Route 710 Advisory Committee established.
March 30, 1983 Second EIS supplement circulated for review and comment.
June 9, 1983 California Transportation Commission (CTC) and Caltrans held a joint public hearing at the Pasadena Civic Center.
Aug. 15, 1983 The Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) held a five-member meeting in Pasadena. Panel recommended five additional alternatives for study to avoid historic properties impact.
Sept. 1, 1984 Caltrans distributed the conceptual Study of ACHP Recommended Alternatives for Route 710 Freeway completion. All were rejected due to adverse impacts outweighing historic benefits.
Sept. 14, 1984

Caltrans distributed the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) to meet the AB1623 mandate. The Meridian Corridor Alternative was recommended.

Nov. 14/15, 1984 CTC held public meetings in Pasadena to solicit public opinion prior to making a route selection.
Nov. 26, 1984 The ACHP held a full council meeting in the South Pasadena library. The "Orange Grove Variation" and two double decking alternatives were recommended for modification and further study.

Dec. 17, 1984

CTC accepted the EIR and selected the Meridian Corridor Alternative to complete the freeway between Route 10 and 210.

Oct. 20, 1986 State Senator Art Torres held a Senate Transportation Committee hearing at the South Pasadena Junior High School Auditorium.
Dec. 30, 1986 Third DEIS Supplement was circulated for review and comment. The focus of the document was the Meridian Variation which was developed as a historic properties avoidance alternative.
Feb. 19, 1987 Caltrans held a public hearing in the South Pasadena High School Auditorium.
May 1, 1988 A supplemental Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation was circulated for review and comment.
Oct. 20, 1988 FHWA requested comments from the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) regarding impact of the Meridian Variation on historic properties.
Oct. 31, 1988

Caltrans submitted the draft FEIS to the FHWA for review and comment.

Nov. 22, 1988 The SHPO responded to FHWA’s request and stated, that the Meridian Variation would have an adverse impact on historic properties. The SHPO declined to participate in an effort to develop details of the proposed plan.
Dec. 16, 1988 The FHWA requested comments from the ACHP concerning the Meridian Variation.
Jan. 11, 1989 Caltrans met with South Pasadena to look at their Westerly Plan B.
Feb. 1, 1989 The SHPO wrote the FHWA and reaffirmed that she had additional information from Caltrans on the Meridian Variation. She also reaffirmed that she could not support the Meridian Variation Alternative.
Feb. 8, 1989 Caltrans, South Pasadena and members of State Senator Torres’ staff met to discuss the Plan B Variation.
Feb. 21, 1989 The ACHP responded to FHWA’s December, 1988, request with the comment that the Meridian Variation still had adverse historic site impact.
March 10, 1989 Senator Torres withdrew his bill to amend the Arroyo Seco Preservation Act of 1975.
March 24, 1989 The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) met with political leaders in the Northeast Los Angeles/West San Gabriel Valley area regarding the Route 710 Gap closure. SCAG passed a resolution (10-1) in support of the completion using the Meridian Variation alignment.
Dec. 26, 1990 The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was completed and sent to FHWA for approval.
Jan. 17, 1992 The State of California requested the FHWA to approve the FEIS and endorsed the Meridian Variation. Carl Covitz, Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing directed Caltrans to establish an advisory panel to mitigate historical, environmental and economic matters.
Feb. 28, 1992 A news conference including Congressman Matthew Martinez, Assemblyman Xavier Becerra, Alhambra Mayor Talmage Burke and a representative of Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre voiced broad support for the 710 Gap Closure project.
March 2, 1992 The FEIS was approved by FHWA.
April 1, 1992 The FEIS was released.
Sept. 10, 1992 The Route 710 Mitigation and Enhancement Advisory Committee (Mitigation Committee) was formed.
Jan. 15, 1993 ACHP referred the 710 Project to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for review.
March, 1993 The regional, grassroots advocacy group, 710 Freeway Coalition was formed.
March 31, 1993 South Pasadena resigned from the Mitigation Committee.
April 6, 1993 The CEQ directed the ACHP to develop the "Low Build Plan," which was proposed by the City of South Pasadena.
April 29, 1993 Final meeting of the Mitigation Committee.
July 1, 1993 Final report, including numerous concessions to South Pasadena, of the Mitigation Committee released.
July, 1993 Caltrans adopted virtually all of the Mitigation Committee recommendations.
Sept. 16, 1993

State Superior Court Judge Joe Gray ruled that AB1623 (Martinez, April, 1982), was no longer valid.

Sept. 23, 1993 City of Alhambra completed its analysis of the "Low Build Option" and found it to be impractical, ineffective and burdensome.
Oct. 25, 1993 City of Los Angeles completed its analysis of the "Low Build Option" and found it to be impractical and ineffective.
Dec. 27, 1993 City of Long Beach completed its analysis of the "Low Build Option" and found it to be impractical.
Jan. 20, 1994 City of Commerce completed its analysis of the "Low Build Option" and found it to be ineffective and impractical.
March 1, 1994 Caltrans completed a re-survey of all historic and potentially historic properties as a result of a FHWA and CEQ request.
March 7, 1994 DKS, an independent traffic consultant hired by Caltrans, completed an analysis of the Low Build Option and found it to be "worse than doing nothing."
March 8, 1994 The Congressional Surface Transportation Subcommittee voted to keep the 710 Project in the plan for the Federal Highway System.
Sept. 14, 1994 The CTC adopted the Meridian Alternative, approved the FEIS and authorized the issuance of the Notice of Decision.
Sept. 30, 1994 AB2556, (Diane Martinez) allowing completion of freeways without "freeway agreements" from cities, was signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson. The law overcame a judge’s ruling that AB1623 (Matthew Martinez, March 1982) had "expired."
Dec. 8, 1994 SCAG recommended that the 710 be completed without further study and commented that the regional project had been delayed "far too long."
March 14, 1995 An Environmental Justice Complaint was filed by the NAACP Legal and Defense Fund and the Mothers of East Los Angeles alleging that the El Sereno residents were not represented during the freeway mitigation process and therefore were being discriminated against. (The NAACP Legal and Defense Fund is a separate organization from the NAACP which supports completion of the 710.)
March 24, 1995 The Mothers of East Los Angeles asked to be removed from the complaint.
November, 1995 Federal Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places reviewed the results of a re-survey of historic properties conducted by Caltrans and found the Short Villa Tract was historical and should be preserved.
Dec. 28, 1995 Caltrans shifted the Meridian Variation Route 300 feet (the "Berkshire Shift") to save the Short Villa Tract. Caltrans hosted an outreach office in El Sereno to discuss with residents the impact of the Berkshire Shift.
April, 1996 Caltrans and FHWA released a final analysis of the "Low Build Option" proposed by the City of South Pasadena. The analysis found that the option would actually increase pollution and congestion.
July 2, 1996 AB2840, a bill introduced by Assemblyman Bill Hoge was pulled by the author. The bill, which had passed the Assembly, but not the Senate, would have repealed the 1994 AB2556, that allowed the 710’s completion without a freeway agreement from South Pasadena.
Oct. 1, 1996 The City of Alhambra filed a federal complaint for unreasonable delay against the US Department of Transportation, its Secretary, Federico Peña, and the FHWA Administrator, Rodney Slater.
Feb. 24, 1997 The National Register of Historic Places ("Keeper") finds that Gillette Crescent and Valley View Heights subdivisions are not elegible for register status.
March, 1998 Poll of South Pasadena voters shows 80% oppose completion of the 710 versus 18% in favor.
April 13, 1998 Record of Decision on the Final Environmental Impact Statement signed by Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, committing the federal government to fund the project.
June 10, 1998 South Pasadena filed suit against the state and federal government in Federal Court seeking to block further work on the 710.
Aug. 24, 1998 Federal Judge William J. Rea lifted the 1973 injunction which had blocked right of way and construction work on the 710.
Aug. 28, 1998 South Pasadena filed in Federal Court seeking an injunction to prohibit Caltrans from buying property or doing other work on the 710.
Dec. 3, 1998 Federal Judge Dean D. Pregerson toured the freeway route and asked both sides to try and reach a compromise.
Dec. 22, 1998 Attorneys for both sides reported to Federal Judge Pregerson that they had not been able to find middle ground. This cleared the way for South Pasadena’s suit to proceed.
July 1, 1998 AB2434, a bill introduced by Assemblyman Jack Scott to block the 710 was put into suspense, effectively killing the measure. The bill would have blocked the 710 unless full funding for all environmental work were first appropriated.
April 19, 1999 Judge Pregerson allowed South Pasadena’s suit to Proceed.
April 28, 1999 State Superior Judge David Yaffe dismissed a suit by Alhambra claiming that South Pasadena’s General Plan did not adequately address the 710.
June 2, 1999 Judge Pregerson granted South Pasadena’s request for a tentative injunction against buying additional property and against further 710 Freeway construction, but denied South Pasadena’s request to halt planning work on the 710.
July 19, 1999 Judge Pregerson made his June 2 injunction final.
July, 1999 The City Council of La Cañada Flintridge voted to put that city on record as opposing the 710 Freeway completion.
July 19, 1999 City of Alhambra restricted traffic through its city to protect its citizens from the freeway-diverted traffic until the 710 could be completed.
September, 1999 Poll released showing that Alhambra voters favored completion of 710 by 81% to 11%.
March, 2000 Poll released showing that Pasadena voters support 710 completion by 59% to 18% opposed. The poll showed overwhelming support in all 7 Pasadena City Council districts and the local Assembly, State Senate and Congressional districts. March, 2000 City Council of Pasadena voted to oppose completion of 710.
June 1, 2000 The second of two bills which would have killed the 710 Freeway died in the State Assembly. AB 1930 by Assemblyman Jack Scott and SB1497 by Senator Adam Schiff were both intended to rescind the 1994 AB2556 bill which allowed the state to complete the 710 without a freeway agreement from South Pasadena.
July, 2000 The Rose Institute’s survey of residents in the San Gabriel Valley showed support for completion of the 710 of 63% versus 11% opposed.
November, 2000 Poll of El Sereno voters showed support for completion of 60% versus 28% opposed.
Nov. 13, 2000 The Pasadena City Council placed a citizen’s initiative On the March, 2001, ballot which would lock in the city’s affirmative position on the 710, after the "710 Freeway Now" group collected 8,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure.
Dec. 11, 2000 The Pasadena City Council placed its own anti-710 measure on the March, 2001, ballot.
March 6, 2001 Pasadena voters oby a margin of 58% to 42% approve the initiative making completion of the 710 Freeway mandatory city policy binding on the Mayor and the City Council.
April 24, 2001 Los Angeles County Metropolitian Transportation Authority adopts Long Range Transportation Plan showing the 710 Project as the highest performing transportation project in the entire County of Los Angeles, and listing the 710 completion as the #1 "strategic" project.
June, 2001 The Southern California Association of Governments reaffirms the 710 in its Regional Transportation Plan as a committed, fundable project.
September, 2001 Eleven state legislators form the "710 Freeway Legislative Action Group" to dramatize regional support and to work collectively for the earliest possible groundbreaking.
November, 2001 An anti-710 funding provision inserted by congressman Adam Schiff into the 2002 Transportation Appropriation bill is rejected by the House/Senate Conference Committee.