Quotes from Elected Officials
Who Want the SR-710 Extension

United States Congress

Judy Chu, Incumbent U.S. Representative for California's 32nd Congressional District. 32th District Map

Quote about Chu: "In the fall of 2001, and led by State Assemblymember Judy Chu of Monterey Park, the 710 Freeway Coalition helped form the 710 Freeway Legislative Action Group (710 FLAG) at the state level. The 710 FLAG is a determined group of about a dozen state senators and assemblymembers who are committed to pushing the 710 Freeway through to completion."

Source: Support of Elected Officials is Nearly Unanimous. PDF from Nat Read's now defunct 710 Freeway Coalition website. (retrieved January 23, 2013)


Quote: “The Environmental Impact Report will advance this project, and reflects the overwhelming position of the San Gabriel Valley cities that recognize, as I do, that completing the 710 gap is the highest highway priority for the two million residents of this region. We simply cannot delay progress on this project.”

Source: Letter from Congresswoman Judy Chu to Metro Board. April 21, 2010

Xavier Becerra, Incumbent U.S. Representative for California's 34th Congressional District District Map

Western San Gabriel Valley officials, including a U.S. congressman and a state legislator, called for federal and state transportation officials to finish the freeway.

"No one here is advocating the construction of a new freeway, " said Alhambra Mayor Talmage V. Burke above the sounds of traffic and car horns blaring in support. "We just want to complete what we started 30 years ago."

Similar messages came from Rep. Matthew G. Martinez and Assemblyman Xavier Becerra, both Monterey Park Democrats, and Monterey Park Mayor Samuel Kiang. The three addressed scores of freeway supporters, who were carrying banners, balloons and placards that said: "Finish the Long Beach Freeway!"

Source: Rally Supports Completion of Long Beach Freeway. Berkley Hudson. February 29, 1992.

Lucille Roybal-Allard, Incumbent U.S. Representative for California's 40th District District Map

Quote: It is long past the time to do the responsible thing and close the 710 gap!

Source: It’s Time to Close 710 Gap, But Not With Light Rail. EPG News. Lucille Roybal-Allard. June 25, 2015.

State Senate

Mike Antonovich, Candidate California State Senator 25th District  District Map (PDF)

Quote: And the plan is for more trucks. In 2007, Los Angeles County officials declared that by lengthening the 710, goods could be hauled from the docks of Long Beach and Los Angeles to an “inland port”—storage yards, essentially—in the Antelope Valley. “The inland port is a necessity if we’re not going to choke in congestion in the Los Angeles basin,” county supervisor Michael Antonovich said at the time. “Congestion” may be a word that we can all agree to hate, but an underlying goal is to increase shipping volume. The freight business is only growing. That’s why boats are getting bigger, and it’s why the Panama and the Suez canals have undergone expansion projects, while China has designs to carve a new canal across Nicaragua. The 710 extension would be our version of a bigger canal.

Source: Digging Deep in the Never Ending Battle to Extend the 710 - Los Angeles Magazine. Los Angeles Magazine. Matthew Segal. December 23, 2015.

Comment: Portantino and Antonovich’s fight will also likely factor in their preferences for the long gestating 710 Freeway extension. Portantino has opposed the project, while Antonovich said he is waiting to see the environmental review before making a decision on a proposal for a nearly 5-mile tunnel to connect the freeway. He has previously supported other attempts to complete the 710.

Source: Election Results: Mike Antonovich, Anthony Portantino lead State Senate District 25 race. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Jason Henry. June 7, 2016.

Quote 07/29/10 (from Michael Cano as Antonovich's transportation deputy, when Antonovich served as Chair, Metro Board & Los Angeles County Supervisor, 5th District.)

Supervisor Antonovich stated he opposes the surface route but thinks it still needs to be studied to avoid legal contest. He said completing freeway systems is important for mobility, eliminating bottlenecks and increasing the flow of traffic.

Source: Minutes Of The Special Meeting Of The City Council Of The City Of South Pasadena Convened July 29th, 2010, 8:05 A.M.


Quote (04/13/06): The City Council and Supervisor Antonovich discussed the proposed 710 freeway extension tunnel alternative. The Supervisor said the County is not directly involved in the issue and has not taken a position on the 710, but said the tunnel has some "potential ability to bring all the parties together."

…Supervisor Antonovich and Dave Pilker, Head, City Services, responded. The county is monitoring the possible November ballot initiative for infrastructure improvement bond funding. (referring to Measure R)

Source: Minutes Of The Special Meeting Of The City Council Of The City Of South Pasadena Convened April 13th, 2006, 8:30 A.M.

Quote: "There are many legitimate questions to ask about this project including costs, impacts, benefits and mitigation. That's why you have this process," said Michael Cano, Antonovich's transportation deputy. "The further you go along with this, the more data you have to help make a decision." Dropping the 710 completion project, he said, would defy the will of the voters as expressed in the November 2008 election. "The voters in 2008 approved Measure R, which included a project for the 710 North," Cano said.

Source: Portantino launches salvo at 710 freeway plans. Pasadena Star News. August 22, 2012, By Brian Charles, SGVN .


(Antonovich was instrumental in firing Barry Wallerstein - head of the Southern California Air Quality Management District)

The South Coast Air Quality Management District board voted narrowly Friday to dismiss longtime Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein despite pleas from environmentalists who decried the move as part of a statewide effort by Republicans to promote the interests of polluters.

Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents portions of the Harbor Area, opposed Wallerstein’s removal because he saw nothing to warrant the decision.

“I am disappointed in how the dismissal of Dr. Wallerstein came about with such lack of transparency and public input,” Buscaino said. “As the board now begins the process of seeking a new executive officer, it’s imperative that we come together and stress the importance of inclusivity and cooperation in working with all of our stakeholders.”

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon also denounced the decision.

“Today’s shameful action by SCAQMD is only the latest in a disturbing trend of dirty energy interests dismantling clean air rules that the public overwhelmingly supports,” de Leon said in a written statement. “I’m extremely disappointed in the direction this board has taken under its new Republican majority. This hostile takeover, led by (Los Angeles County) Supervisor Michael Antonovich, has subverted the will of the people and undone decades of hard work.”

Source: South Coast Air Quality District board ousts longtime executive officer Daily Breeze. Sandy Mazza. March 4, 2016

Note that:

The pro-710 tunnel coalition objects to an AQMD critique of the 710 completion project that would close the gap between Alhambra and Pasadena via a single or dual tunnel running 4.5 miles. The letter was written by Ian MacMillan, the AQMD’s planning and rules manager in August. Businesses, environmentalists and the 710 tunnel collide in AQMD Board Member battle.

"The SCAQMD, which is responsible for regulation of stationary sources of air pollution throughout much of southern California, is among the most important public health protection agencies in the country.  AQMD’s authority is wide-ranging and significant: it administers both the federal and state permitting programs for factories and smaller industrial sources in the region; it is responsible for developing the southern California component of the State Implementation Plan that ensures attainment of the federal Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards; and it makes and enforces rules to ensure compliance with state air quality laws, standards, and regulations in the region. Together with the California Air Resources Board, which regulates mobile sources of pollution such as cars and trucks and ultimately approves our state implementation plan, AQMD has largely been responsible for the dramatic gains in air quality in Los Angeles since the 1970s."

Source: Another California Regulatory Agency in Crisis: Southern California’s Air Quality Management District Fires Longtime Executive Officer.


State Assembly

Ed Chau, Incumbent Assemblymember 49th District. District Map

Quote: "I am in support of completing the 710 freeway and that has been my position since day one… The tunnel option is the option I would prefer. And obviously, having said that, I think what we want to do now is to find ways to cause the least disruption to the neighborhood. Whether it's acquisition of additional homes or whatever it is, we need to find ways to minimize that disruption."

Source: Election 2012:  Chau vs. Lin.  Alhambra Source.  Sept. 13, 2012

County Supervisors

Kathryn Barger, Candidate Los Angeles County Supervisor 5th District. District Map

Formerly Mike Antonovich's Chief Deputy with 30 years of working for the LA County in Mike Antonovich's office as political appointee
Quote: "This issue has been debated for 55 years," Barger said. "Meanwhile the communities below the 710, which are low-income, are suffering as a result of the inability to make a decision."

Source: Candidates running for Antonovich's seat spar over 710 Freeway extension Los Angeles Times. Abby Sewell. April 27, 2016.

Important to note:

The winning candidate, who also gets a seat on the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors, will be faced with a litany of transit concerns, tops among them is whether the county should help construct a 4.5-mile-long tunnel to connect the northern stub of the Long Beach (710) Freeway with the Ventura (134) and Foothill (210) freeways. Pasadena Weekly - District Divide

Gloria Molina Former Metro Board Member & Former Los Angeles County Supervisor 1st District. District Map

Quote: …But, again MTA arranged a meeting of MTA staff and the SR-710 interested parties to discuss what needed to be done and are now preparing the “Base-Case Project” using the infamous Gloria Molina Tunnel line on the paper. During an MTA Board meeting Molina said she and everyone knew where the SR710 route would be. She drew a line on a paper and said “here it is – take it out replace with reference straight line from I-10/I-710 to I-210/SR134, where everyone knows it will go.”

Source: The Saga of North 710 Extension Continues. North Valley Reporter. October, 2011, by Dr. Tom Williams


Quote about Molina: “At the County of Los Angeles, the Board of Supervisor members Michael Antonovich and Gloria Molina – whose districts include the freeway corridor -- are on record supporting completion of the entire 710 Freeway Project.”

Source: Support of Elected Officials is Nearly Unanimous. Nat Read's 710 Freeway Coalition website

City Councils


Luis Ayala, Alhambra City Councilmember 5th District. District Map (PDF)

Quote: "Based on their study, Metro's study of the completion of the 710 gap...a tunnel is by far the most effective in terms of reducing congestion. I like facts to speak for themselves. I've looked at all the facts. This seems to be the most practical solution," Ayala said.

Source: 710 Expansion Update. CSU LA University Times. July 19, 2013, By Oliver Ordonez

Barbara Messina Metro Board member & Alhambra City Council member, 2nd District. District Map

Quote: “It’s about time,” Messina said. “The freeway system is like an octopus, and all the parts need to be able to work together to operate at its maximum capacity. This missing link affects the whole system.”

Source: Renewed Efforts Keep 710 Freeway Debate Hot. NBC Southern California online. January 23, 2012, By Phoebe Unterman


Quote: Alhambra Councilwoman Barbara Messina has been outspoken in favor of a tunnel, and expressed frustration with resistance from South Pasadena. “There is a lot of misinformation that people from South Pasadena are spewing,” she said. “The tunnel, many years ago, was a South Pasadena solution. Now, they don’t want it. Now they want multi-modal, low build or no build. We’ve done that. It doesn’t work. The tunnel is the solution”

Source: 710 gap outreach effort reveals frustration and disagreement over tunnel. Alhambra Source. March 4, 2011, by Lisa Montano Community Contributor


Quote: Barbara Messina speaking at an October 1, 2013 Long Beach City Council meeting admits it’s all about cargo trucks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcxP8Zy-8Gc

At 1:34 - 4:16 Barbara Messina speaks.

At 2:10-3min into the video, 

Barbara Messina states that this is a regional issue, and represents the 710 freeway tunnel version of the Gap closure as a freight corridor. At exactly 2:29 you'll find the phrase "...and I know how important moving goods from the port is for the 710 and the region".

Stephen Sham, Incumbent Mayor and Candidate, Alhambra City Council, 1st District Nov 4th, 2014

District Map

Quote about Sham: "Incoming mayor Sham outlined his goals for the next nine months: improve public safety, increase outreach to underserved communities, improve city infrastructure, and close the 710 Freeway gap.

Source: Councilman Sham sworn in as Alhambra's new mayor, outlines goals for renovations and community outreach. Alhambra Source November 27, 2013

and, more recently

"That's why Alhambra and a host of other communities have joined forces to form the 710 Coalition to promote our support for completion of the 710 freeway by building a tunnel" said Alhambra Mayor Stephen Sham.

Source: The City of Alhambra kicks-off 710 "CLOSE THE GAP" Day with a Street Banner Dedication. 710 Coalition. JUNE 05, 2014, Posted By Janice Ochoa


John Fasana Metro Board member & Duarte City Council Member

Quote: “I understand freeways through communities have impacts, but there are also a lot of benefits,” said Duarte Councilman John Fasana, “I’m also in favor of transit, but I don’t think it’s going to replace the need of people and goods to move in cars and trucks. For this region as a whole, the 710 gap extension is a good thing. Most of the San Gabriel Valley supports it, especially the below-ground proposal.”

Source: Now located at: My Sunday Column: An Issue That Won’t Go Away — Will Closing the ‘710 Gap’ Destroy a Healthy Neighborhood? – Ron Kaye L.A.

Los Angeles

Gil Cedillo Council Member, Council District 1 District Map (PDF)

Conrado Terraza, spokesman for Cedillo, said the Assemblyman was opposed to any route through Los Angeles, either above ground or below. However, Terraza said he did support a tunnel route beneath the City of South Pasadena.

Source: Highland Park Prefers 'No Build' 710 Alternative. Highland Park-Mt. Washington Patch. August 7, 2012, by David Fonseca and Jacqueline Mansky.

Quote: "...[H]e is a supporter of a tunnel to alleviate the region’s traffic congestion," Cedillo Spokesperson Christy Wolfe told EGPNews.com in 2009. "The senator is pragmatic on the issue…he is keeping all options on the table until some of the options are ruled out."

Source: Arroyo Community Gears Up For 710 Battle. Highland Park-Mt. Washington Patch. August 3, 2012, by David Fonseca.