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Metro Throws Out Highland Park Route, Narrows 710 Freeway List to Five

A hotly protested highway route through Highland Park and other parts of Northeast Los Angeles is not among the five possible 710 Freeway extension project options still under consideration by Metro, the transportation agency announced last week.

Those who opposed the route said it would destroy local communities and tear up neighborhoods with historical homes. It turns out engineers were not so excited about the route option either. The Highland Park route was taken out because it was “poor performing from an engineering and financial standpoint,” said Metro spokesperson Marc Littman.

The five routes eliminated from the list of 12 possible options are:

—F-2: Route from SR 2 (Glendale Freeway) between Verdugo Road and SR 134 with a new interchange.

—F-5: Route to SR 134 at a new interchange—just north of the intersection of Colorado Blvd/Avenue 64.

—F-6: Route from north and south terminus of the existing SR 710 to SR 210

—H-2: Route from Concord Avenue, Fremont Avenue, Monterey Road, Ave 64, Colorado Blvd.

—H-6: Route between the termini on Huntington Drive, Fair Oaks Avenue, Columbia Street, Pasadena Avenue and St. Johns Avenue.

The five remaining proposals include routes using bus rapid transit, light rail, or freeway tunnel and intelligent traffic systems (which includes strategies such as ride sharing and encouraging off peak traffic).

Pictured here Bus Rapid Transit route (BRT-6), one of several options still on the table.

The remaining alternatives are:

—“No build” option.

—Bus rapid transit route (BRT-6): from Los Angeles to Pasadena.

—Light Rail (LR-4): route from East Los Angeles to Pasadena.

—Intelligent traffic systems option: is considered a “low build” alternative (TSM TDM), for example light synchronization; enhanced bus line enhancements.

—F-7: tunnel alignment, although it has depressed and at-grade sections at the north/south ends. Route would go from the north and south terminus of the existing SR 710, to north terminus the 210 freeway.

Littman said Metro staff has not yet determined a route for the freeway tunnel option, and added that rumors about the tunnel alternative have exaggerated its costs. He said recent studies conducted in Seattle and other cities put the cost of a tunnel at around $3 billion, rather than the $15 billion figure floating around.

Since the route has not been decided, the exact cost is still unknown, he said.

Details about these alternatives were presented at a technical advisory meeting on Wednesday, and a Stakeholder Outreach Advisory Committee today, Aug. 30.