Caltrans Postmiles for Route 710 start at the ramps joining the Seaside Freeway (SR 47), Terminal Island Freeway (SR 47/103) and the Gerald Desmond Bridge (I-710). The legs south to Harbor Island and east to Downtown Long Beach are not included in the Postmile system. Route 710 north to Valley Boulevard is 24.021 miles per Caltrans Postmiles. The FHWA Route Long and Finder List however attributes only 19.66 miles for Interstate 710, between SR 1 in Long Beach and I-10 at East Los Angeles.
Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement
Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project – Photo taken 07/09/18.
The original through arch bridge spanning the Back Channel on Terminal Island was constructed in the 1960s. The Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement project, scheduled for completion in 2020, constructs a cabled stayed bridge spanning the waterway with a 205 foot vertical clearance. Supported by two 515 foot high towers, the bridge will accommodate six lanes of traffic, the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, and three scenic overlooks.
I-710 from the Port of Long Beach north to California 60 is part of High Priority Corridor 46: Interstate 710.
The Long Beach Freeway was added to the Interstate Highway System in 1984 to replace the SR 7 designation. SR 7 previously replaced SR 15 along the same freeway. I-710 was added after Interstate 110 replaced SR 11 along the parallel Harbor Freeway to the west in 1981. The freeway was planned to link Long Beach with Interstate 210 in Pasadena, but high costs and vehement community opposition prevented the ultimate build out.
Canceled I-710 Extension – Pasadena
The long proposed extension of Interstate 710 north from the half diamond interchange with Valley Boulevard to the stub end of unsigned SR 710 in Pasadena was formally dropped by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTC) on May 25, 2017.1 Prepared in 2015, the final environmental report examined four alternatives, including building single or twin bore tunnels.2
The 4.5 mile long section of the Long Beach Freeway through South Pasadena and Pasadena was first considered in the 1940s/1950s. The freeway opened south from Valley Boulevard in 1965. With the first lawsuits filed in 1973 after new federal environmental legislation was enacted, the ensuing section north through South Pasadena was mired in controversy.2
Despite continued opposition, lawsuits and the requirement of additional environmental studies, the planned alignment of I-710 north to Pasadena perserveered for several decades. The project received a record of decision from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in April 1998. It was met with opposition from the city of South Pasadena, environmental groups such as the Friends of the Earth, local community leaders, and residents potentially impacted by the project.
The partially built freeway spur for the Long Beach Freeway (State Route 710) in Pasadena.
The FHWA required that Caltrans produce another environmental impact statement in December 2003. The succeeding study would evaluate additional impacts of the freeway that were not previously been addressed. Subsequently, the environmental clearance for the route was rescinded by Caltrans in April 2004.
The original plan called Interstate 710 to be built as a below grade freeway, similar to the SR 210 extension in eastern Los Angeles and western San Bernardino Counties. Options also considered adding cut and cover tunnels, or constructing a longer tolled tunnel. Scenarios still involved the removal of several homes, some of which were already owned by Caltrans and are rented out. Despite the high costs of constructing a tunnel system along the proposed route, some believed that it would still not mitigate the impact to the communities.
For more on the Interstate 710 extension, please refer to the following webpages: