KPCC News In Brief

Caltrans starts drilling for tunnel exploration for 710 freeway expansion

Southern California Caltrans officials expect it’ll take two years to complete a soil study for the 710 freeway expansion project. KPCC’s Patricia Nazario checked in with an excavation team today as they worked on what could be the longest underground passage in the country.

Patricia Nazario: The exploration team collected soil samples in Alhambra, right above where the 710 freeway ends. It’s one of five zones Caltrans plans to explore.

Caltrans district director Douglas Failing says another option is building a tunnel to the 210 Freeway and right under homes in South Pasadena.

Douglas Failing: “They recognize the importance of transportation in the corridor. Certainly, they have their desires that it not impact them. But I think they recognize the advantage that a tunnel may have in not having impacts in their communities.”

Nazario: Failing believes a tunnel would mitigate many environmental concerns, although those studies are still years away. If the project gets the green light, it could be as long as 10 miles, and as deep as 300 feet below street level. It wouldn’t open to cars for another seven years. Caltrans expects its exploration phase to last two years.

Residents can get information and get involved in the process through upcoming public meetings.

More information: 710tunnelstudy.info

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January 2009

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