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Interstate 710 California

 

Interstate 110 and 710, the main north-south freeway arteries for Long Beach and south Los Angeles to downtown Los Angeles. Note also the stub end of Interstate 710 at the junction of Interstate 210 and California 134 at Pasadena.

History / Routing

Interstate 710, the Long Beach Freeway, was added as an Interstate in the Los Angeles area in 1984 to replace the California 7 designation. California 7, in fact, was a replacement designation for the original designation of the Long Beach Freeway: California 15. It was added shortly after Interstate 110 replaced California 11, the Harbor Freeway, which occurred in 1981. Plans are underway to extend Interstate 710 north of Interstate 10 meet Interstate 210 in Pasadena. The northern terminus photos show the temporary ramps and stub freeway.

The southern terminus of Interstate 710 is debatable. Heading southbound after the California 1/Pacific Coast Highway exit, the freeway splits into three separate spurs. These spurs are identified in the California Streets and Highways Code as follows:

    Section 622. Route 710 is from Route 1 to Route 210 in Pasadena.

    Section 622.1. (a) Route 710 shall also include that portion of the freeway between Route 1 and the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive, that portion of Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Boulevard, that portion of Ocean Boulevard west of its intersection with Harbor Scenic Drive to its junction with Seaside Boulevard, and that portion of Seaside Boulevard from the junction with Ocean Boulevard to Route 47.

Based on this legislation, the first connection of State Route 710 leads from the mainline southeast into downtown Long Beach via Shoreline Boulevard. A second spur leads due south along the west bank of the Los Angeles River to the Queen Mary, a major attraction in Long Beach. The third and final spur turns west over the Gerald Desmond Bridge into Terminal Island. All three spurs have signs that confusingly refer to themselves as part of Interstate 710.

The FHWA Route Log and Finder List indicates that Interstate 710 is 19.66 miles long. However, the distance of Interstate 710 according to the CalNexus exit numbering site is 22 miles from the point where these three spur routes converge (just south of Anaheim Street in Long Beach) north to the Interstate 10 interchange (Exit 22). As such, it appears that the southern end of Interstate 710 is the point where these three spurs come together. However, signage is in place on all three spurs identifying each of them as Interstate 710, including southbound Interstate 710 reassurance markers that point onto the Gerald Desmond Bridge spur.

Because of these factors and because the longest spur route identified as Interstate 710 appears to be the one crossing the Gerald Desmond Bridge and connecting to California 47/103, we'll use that one as the southern terminus. Nevertheless, the Caltrans exit numbering web site places Exit 1 at Anaheim Street, which indicates that Interstate 710 begins at the point where westbound Shoreline Drive changes into northbound Interstate 710 just southwest of downtown Long Beach.

High Priority Corridor

Interstate 710 from the Port of Long Beach north to California 60 is part of High Priority Corridor 46: Interstate 710.

Planned Improvements

At the southern end, plans call for major improvements to much of the Long Beach Freeway corridor, which is notorious for congestion, especially in terms of truck traffic. In addition, the corridor is being evaluated for improvements to the Port of Long Beach. This may include improved links to the Alameda Corridor (California 47), a potential upgrade or replacement to the Gerald Desmond Bridge, and a freeway to freeway interchange between Ocean Boulevard (California 710) with California 47 (Terminal Island Freeway). As these improvements are completed, Interstate 710 signage may extend all the way to the California 47 interchange.

For more on planned improvements on Interstate 710 in southeastern Los Angeles County, which includes the vicinity of Terminal Island and the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, visit the official webpage: Gateway Cities Council of Governments - Interstate 710 Major Corridor Study.

Future Aspirations

In addition to the potential for improving Interstate 710 including the connections to the Port of Long Beach, it also proposed to extend Interstate 710 north from the Valley Boulevard half-interchange to the stub end of secret California 710 in Pasadena. The started date of construction is not yet certain, pending conclusion of a study to determine whether the most controversial sections of the route should be tunneled. That is because this extension is mired in tremendous controversy.

The plan seems simple: connect the short stretch of unsigned California 710 (which is currently a glorified offramp, dangling south from the Interstate 210/California 134 to Del Mar Boulevard and California Boulevard) to the section of Interstate 710 that extends north from Interstate 10 in Los Angeles. The connection would be made through the city of Los Angeles, following a path that has shown up on planning maps and old oil company maps of Los Angeles for decades as a proposed route. First considered as a freeway in the 1940s/1950s, the proposed 4.5-mile Interstate 710 extension would start in Los Angeles (near Alhambra), cross South Pasadena, and complete its journey in Pasadena.

However, the plan is extremely controversial, but it is not controversial enough to kill the project. The project received a record of decision from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to proceed with the "FHWA to approve the selection of the Depressed Meridian Variation Alternative Reduced with Shift design variation" in April 1998. However, opposition to the project has sprung up: environmental groups such as the Friends of the Earth, local community groups, and impacted residents oppose the route. Even one of the cities along the route -- South Pasadena -- staunchly opposes the planned freeway connection. In December 2003, the FHWA required that Caltrans produce another environmental impact statement due to the many impacts of the freeway that have not yet been addressed. This effectively retracted the record of decision from 1998. Subsequently, the environmental clearance for the route was rescinded by Caltrans in April 2004. In spite of all of this, the project was not dead; instead, it has been sent to the state legislature for future action.

The original plan called for the highway to be a below grade freeway, similar to the California 210 extension in eastern Los Angeles and western San Bernardino Counties. There might be some segments with cut and cover tunnels. However, this scenario would require the removal of many homes, some of which are already owned by Caltrans and are rented. To alleviate this concern, some have advocated constructing a tolled tunnel, but this would be very expensive, and some say that this would not mitigate the impact to the communities along the proposed route. The tunnel concept has also been considered.

Due to the state's budget crisis, multiple design alternatives, and the local controversy on whether to construct this route, any construction of Interstate 710 seems to be a ways off.

For more on the Interstate 710 extension, please refer to the following webpages:

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - California 47 and 103 - Long Beach, California
Perspective from Southbound Interstate 710
Southbound Interstate 710 continues past both Interstate 405 and California 1 on its way to San Pedro and Terminal Island. This photo shows the interchange between southbound Interstate 710 and California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) in Long Beach. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Just south of the California 1 interchange, Interstate 710 splits into two segments at this point: The first spur leads into downtown, while the mainline continues straight ahead to meet the Queen Mary and the Gerald Desmond Bridge spurs. The main signed route continues onward toward Terminal Island, while the left exit provides direct freeway access to downtown Long Beach. It is unclear whether the left exit was ever signed as Interstate 710. However, the 2003 Thomas Brothers map of Long Beach shows Interstate 710 following this spur into Long Beach. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 curves to the west after passing the split, and it continues onward toward the Gerald Desmond Bridge. This split is shown as a gray line ("Seaside Boulevard") in the 2003 Rand McNally Los Angeles Inset Map. However, it is fully access-controlled freeway until it reaches the signalized intersection with California 47/103. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 signage continues with this (barely legible) sign indicating the control cities of select piers and Terminal Island. The exit leads to other piers and Queen Mary, which is the second spur. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 at the Queen Mary Exit. The Queen Mary exit is the second of the Interstate 710 spurs; continuing straight ahead leads to the third spur over the Desmond Gerald Bridge. The freeway narrows to two lanes each direction at this point. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 approaching the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which leads to Terminal Island. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 over the Gerald Desmond Bridge (#1). This sign read "Interstate 710 South San Pedro" at the time this photo was taken, but by March 2003, the sign had been replaced with "To California 47." However, since signs referring to this bridge being part of Interstate 710 still exist on Terminal Island, it seems likely that this is still part of Interstate 710. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 over the Gerald Desmond Bridge (#2). Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Southbound Interstate 710 ends at this upcoming signalized intersection with California 47 and 103. This intersection is slated to be upgraded to a full freeway connection in the future. California 47 continues straight ahead over the Vincent Thomas suspension bridge, which was made into a toll-free crossing in 2000. California 47 and 103 turn right at this point as the Terminal Island Freeway. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Perspective from Northbound Interstate 710/Gerald Desmond Bridge
See California Highways: Interstate 710.
Perspective from Queen Mary Spur northbound
See California Highways: Interstate 710.
Perspective from Northbound California 47 and 103
Freeway Entrance signage for California 47 and 103 on the northeast corner. The Terminal Island Freeway is cosigned as California 47 and 103 for a short distance, and then solely as California 103 just north of the lift bridge (seen in the background). The designations are rather complicated due to the presence of several unconstructed state routes in this area. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Perspective from Southbound California 47 and 103
Northbound California 47 and 103 looking east toward the Gerald Desmond Bridge and Interstate 710. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 10 - Monterey Park, California
Perspective from Northbound Interstate 710
Interstate 710 officially ends at its interchange with Interstate 10, but the road actually continues a bit farther north to Valley Boulevard. Stub ends of the freeway are visible at Valley Boulevard to show the planned future extension of Interstate 710 to Pasadena, should it ever be constructed. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Northbound Interstate 710 approaches Interstate 10, one mile. The left two lanes are still signed as Interstate 710 north to Valley Boulevard, while the right two lanes connect to Interstate 10 east to San Bernardino and west to downtown Los Angeles. Photo taken 08/24/04.
The last exit along northbound Interstate 710/Long Beach Freeway prior to the Interstate 10 interchange is Exit 21, Ramona Avenue. The following two exits are Exit 22, Junction Interstate 10, and Exit 23, Valley Boulevard. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Northbound Interstate 710/Long Beach Freeway reaches the transition ramp for Exit 22, Junction Interstate 10. Note that the pull through sign still features "Interstate 710 North," but the destination is for Exit 23, Valley Boulevard. Photo taken 08/24/04.
This view of the Interstate 10/Interstate 710 interchange is from northbound Interstate 710. Photo taken 08/24/04.
The final northbound Interstate 710 mileage sign features the ramp to Valley Boulevard and an "End Freeway" notation. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Motorists are warned one-quarter mile in advance that northbound Interstate 710 is approaching its end. These signs are located just north of Interstate 10. Photo taken 08/24/04.
The jersey barriers to the left begin to funnel traffic onto the Valley Boulevard off-ramp, which indicates that the northbound Interstate 710 freeway ends. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (07/21/01).
All traffic on northbound Interstate 710 must exit onto Valley Boulevard, which is Exit 23. The stub end to the freeway is clearly visible. At this time, it is not clear if or when the freeway will be extended to meet California 710, which is the short freeway protruding south from the Interstate 210/California 134 interchange in Pasadena south to Del Mar Avenue. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Here, the freeway ends at this traffic signal at Valley Boulevard. In this photo, note the concrete stub freeway continuing to the left, while all traffic is diverted on the asphalt off-ramp. The freeway is planned for extension through South Pasadena and Pasadena to meet Interstate 210. However, the extension is mired in controversy. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Perspective from Southbound Interstate 710
After the Valley Boulevard intersection, the first interchange on southbound Interstate 710 is for Interstate 10, which is nominally the northern terminus of the Interstate highway. Interstate 10 travels east to San Bernardino and west to Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Photo taken 08/24/04.
The first three exits along southbound Interstate 710/Long Beach Freeway are Exits 22B-A, Junction Interstate 10/San Bernardino Freeway; Exit 20C, Cesar Chavez Avenue; and Exit 20B, Junction California 60/Pomona Freeway. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Southbound Interstate 710 reaches Exit 22B, Junction Interstate 10 east to the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Immediately thereafter, southbound Interstate 710 reaches Exit 22A, Junction Interstate 10 west to downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. These signs date back to when the freeway was built in the early to mid-1960s, and they show their age. Underneath the Interstate 710 shield is probably a California 7 shield, and possibly even a California 15 shield. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Perspective from Westbound Valley Boulevard
Valley Boulevard connects with two traffic signals near the Los Angeles-Alhambra city limits. Traveling west along Valley Boulevard, the first traffic signal is for traffic coming off of northbound Interstate 710. The second traffic signal provides a connection onto southbound Interstate 710/Long Beach Freeway, which is shown here. Photo taken 08/24/04.
Perspective from Eastbound Valley Boulevard
No photos available.
Perspective from Eastbound Interstate 10
Eastbound Interstate 10 approaching Junction Interstate 710, one mile. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Eastbound Interstate 10 approaching Junction Interstate 710, next right. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Eastbound Interstate 10 at Junction Interstate 710 Exit. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Perspective from Westbound Interstate 10
No photos available.
Future Northern Terminus - Interstate 210 - Pasadena, California
Perspective from Eastbound Interstate 210
Eastbound Interstate 210 approaches Exit 25A, Junction Future Interstate 710 South/California 134 West. The exit is signed as "To California 110, Del Mar Boulevard/California Avenue," as it connects to the Pasadena Freeway/Arroyo Seco Parkway. Photo taken 11/14/04.
The right two lanes continue along eastbound Interstate 210, while the left two lanes connect to Exit 25A, Junction Future California 710 south in Pasadena. Use California 710 (unsigned) south to connect to Colorado Boulevard, Del Mar Boulevard, and California Boulevard. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Perspective from Southbound California 710
The first exit along southbound California 710 (unsigned) is the offramp to U.S. 66/Colorado Boulevard. This ramp actually connects to Maple Street/John Avenue, a one-way street that facilitates the connection to Colorado Boulevard. Colorado Boulevard is one instance of former U.S. 66; a later route took U.S. 66 to downtown Los Angeles via California 110/Pasadena Freeway after that route opened in the 1940s. The next two exits are for Del Mar Boulevard and California Boulevard. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Southbound California 710 passes under the stack interchange for California 134 (Ventura Freeway) and Interstate 210 (Foothill Freeway) after the offramp to Colorado Boulevard (Historic U.S. 66). Photo taken 11/14/04.
This mileage sign along southbound California 710 provides the distance to Del Mar Boulevard and California Boulevard. As traffic merges onto southbound from California 134 and Interstate 210, the freeway briefly widens to three lanes before reaching California Boulevard. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Southbound California 710 reaches the offramp to Del Mar Boulevard. The final exit is California Boulevard. Photo taken 11/14/04.
If constructed, the California 710 freeway would continue from this point as a below-grade freeway, with cut and cover segments. If constructed as a tunnel, it is not clear how that route will be accomplished. For now, the concrete freeway more or less ends at the foot of a large landscaped slope. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Although it is not well-advertised, at the end of the ramp from southbound California 710 to eastbound California Boulevard is a trailblazer shield pointing the way to California 110/Pasadena Freeway south to Los Angeles. There is no freeway connection from Interstate 210 to California 110, and none is planned. Use California Boulevard east to California 110 southbound at Arroyo Parkway to make the connection. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Perspective from Northbound Pasadena Avenue
Traveling north on Pasadena Avenue, there is a single freeway entrance from the left side of the avenue to connect to northbound California 710. Photo taken 11/14/04.
The freeway entrance shield assembly shows Interstate 210, not California 710. This is because there is no access from northbound California 710 to local streets, and there is no access from this ramp to California 134 westbound. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Perspective from Northbound California 710
The ramp from Pasadena Avenue to northbound California 710 leads to this empty sign bridge assembly mounted on the Del Mar Boulevard overpass. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Plenty of room is reserved in the middle of the freeway for additional lanes or the proposed light rail corridor. However, only one lane is currently in use for the connection from Pasadena Avenue to Interstate 210. Photo taken 11/14/04.
The ramp to California 134/Ventura Freeway westbound can only be accessed from the second Pasadena Avenue ramp found north of the Del Mar Boulevard overpass. California 710 defaults directly onto Interstate 210. Photo taken 11/14/04.
Northbound California 710 comes to an end at this split, where the right lane transitions to eastbound Interstate 210 to San Bernardino, while the right lane travels directly onto westbound Interstate 210 to San Fernando. Photo taken 11/14/04.
The transition ramp from northbound California 710 to westbound Interstate 210 passes under the California 134/Interstate 210 interchange complex. Photo taken 11/14/04.

Page Updated August 25, 2005.

 
Mileage

State California
Mileage 19.66
Cities Los Angeles, Long Beach, Downey, Compton, East Los Angeles
Junctions Interstate 405, Interstate 105, Interstate 5, Interstate 10
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-710 California Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
California Long Beach 181,000 2002
California Compton 227,000 2002
California South Gate 237,000 2002
California Commerce 223,000 2002
California Monterey Park 132,000 2002
California Pasadena 70,000 2002
Source: Caltrans, Traffic Operations Program - Traffic and Vehicle Data Systems [2002]
Complete Interstate 710 AADT data.

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