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710 Freeway extension plan should be killed, assemblyman says

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino opposes 710 extension plan

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino on Wednesday demanded the California Department of Transportation stop all work on a proposed extension of the 710 Freeway.

Citing a withering audit that found mismanagement of nearly 500 homes Caltrans acquired decades ago along the expected right of way, Portantino said planning for a tunnel extending the 710 from its Alhambra terminus to Pasadena has been “tainted and biased.”

“The recent state audit highlighted the complete lack of trust that I have for the folks shepherding the 710 corridor and this historically massive project," Portantino said in a statement. "If these folks can’t be trusted to fix a roof, how can we trust them to build a $15-billion tunnel?”

“Representatives of the California Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have routinely misrepresented important information while hiding the true cost and benefit of this project from the public,” he added.

After the audit showing mismanagement of the properties was released last week, Caltrans officials said they would take steps to improve oversight of the properties.

The proposed extension of the 710 Freeway is one of several alternatives under study for the corridor. The study is expected to wrap up in 2014.

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--Bill Kisliuk, Times Community News

Photo: Assemblyman Anthony PortantIno (D-La Cañada). Credit: Associated Press

 
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