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Interstate 710


Interstate 710 is an approximately 19.66-mile-long auxiliary Interstate which exists in Los Angeles County.  Interstate 710 as presently defined by the Federal Highway Administration begins at Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach and extends north to Interstate 10 in Monterey Park.  Interstate 710 is signed on Terminal Island and north of Interstate 10 to Valley Boulevard along highway segments which are not officially part of the Interstate Highway System.  Interstate 710 is tied heavily to the history of the overall Long Beach Freeway corridor.  The Long Beach Freeway corridor was part of the original California State Route 15 and second California State Route 7. 


The Long Beach Freeway stub in Pasadena was never part of the Interstate System.  Thusly, while the Pasadena stub of the Long Beach Freeway will be touched on below it will not be primary focus of this blog.  For more regarding the Pasadena Stub of the Long Beach Freeway refer to the blog below:




Part 1; the history of Interstate 710

The origins of Interstate 710 and the Long Beach Freeway begin with Legislative Route Number 167 (LRN 167) being defined during 1933.  LRN 167 was originally defined as:

"Long Beach via Atlantic Boulevard (later Atlantic Avenue) to LRN 26 (US Route 60 and later US Route 99-70) near Monterey Park."

The original definition of LRN 167 appears on the 1934 Division of Highways Map.  While not explicitly stated the southern terminus of LRN 167 ended at LRN 60 in Long Beach.  


The initial run of Sign State Routes was announced in the August 1934 California Highways & Public Works.  California State Route 15 as defined was concurrent entirely with LRN 167.  The southern terminus of California State Route 15 was located at California State Route 3/LRN 60 (later US Route 101A) and northern terminus was located at US Routes 99-60-70/LRN 26.



The alignment of California State Route 15/LRN 167 can be seen in detail on the 1935 Division of Highways Map Los Angeles County.  California State Route 15/LRN 167 can be seen beginning at US Route 101A/LRN 60 (formerly California State Route 3) in Long Beach and following Atlantic Avenue north to Olive Street near Clearwater, Hynes and Compton.  California State Route 15/LRN 167 is shown crossing the Los Angeles River via Olive Avenue and rejoining Atlantic Avenue.  



California State Route 15/LRN 167 north of Compton is shown following Atlantic Avenue to US Routes 99-60-70/LRN 26 in Monterey Park.  


The September 1935 California Highways & Public Works referenced a new Los Angeles River Bridge being budgeted for California State Route 15/LRN 167.  The same volume refers to the original Los Angeles River Bridge as being a timber design.  The replacement structure is noted to be planned as an eight truss spans.  



The October 1936 California Highways & Public Works announced a contract to construct the new Los Angeles River Bridge had been awarded. 


California State Route 15/LRN 167 appears realigned onto the new Los Angeles River Bridge between Artesia Avenue and Compton Boulevard on the 1938 Division of Highways Map.  The new Los Angeles River Bridge functionally made the two segments of Atlantic Avenue continuous.


During 1944 the eastern half of Terminal Island was connected to Long Beach via pontoon bridge.  The Pontoon structure span was intended to be a temporary aid to facilitate movement to the Terminal Island Naval Facilities.  The Terminal Island Pontoon Bridge connected Seaside Boulevard to Harbor Scenic Drive in Long Beach. 


1947 Legislative Chapter 11 segmented the definition of LRN 167:

A.  Long Beach to LRN 166 (US Route 101 Bypass). 
B.  Near the Los Angeles River to LRN 26 (US Routes 99-60-70) via Atlantic Boulevard.

The altered definition of LRN 167 first appears on the 1948 Division of Highways Map.  The segmented definition of LRN 167 was likely created to compensate for the planned Santa Ana Freeway. 


The November/December 1947 California Highways & Public Works features an overview of structures along the unfinished Terminal Island Freeway.  The Terminal Island Freeway project is cited in the article as being initiated by the Federal Government during 1940 and 1941 as an access road to the Terminal Island Naval Dry Docks.  The Terminal Island Freeway is stated to be scheduled for completion by January 1, 1948.  The article notes the Terminal Island Pontoon Bridge was intended to be abandoned after the opening of the Terminal Island Freeway. 





1949 Legislative Chapter 1467 reconsolidated and extended the definition of LRN 167 north from US Route 99-60-70/LRN 26 in Monterey Park to US Route 66/LRN 205 at the Arroyo Seco Parkway.  The extended definition of LRN 167 appears on the 1950 Division of Highways Map as a planned highway between US Route 99-60-70/LRN 26 in Monterey Park and US Route 66/LRN 205 in South Pasadena.  



The May/June 1951 California Highways & Public Works announced the planned Los Angeles River Freeway of California State Route 15/LRN 167 had been renamed the "Long Beach Freeway."  The article stub notes the Long Beach Freeway name had been adopted by a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors resolution.  The origin of the Long Beach Freeway is stated to have been conceptualized 14 years prior by the Long Beach City Engineering Department.  The Long Beach Freeway is shown with a planned southern terminus near Anaheim Street in Long Beach which would connect to the vicinity of the Terminal Island Pontoon Bridge. 







1951 Legislative Chapter 1562 truncated the planned routing of LRN 167 to Huntington Drive in Alhambra.  The truncated definition and planned routing of LRN 167 to Huntington Drive appears on the 1952 Division of Highways Map



The November/December 1952 California Highways & Public Works featured a progress report regarding construction of the Long Beach Freeway.  The first construction unit is noted to be between US Route 101A/LRN 60 to 23rd Street.  The initial segment of the Long Beach Freeway was anticipated to be open by July 1954.  The city of Long Beach is noted to have retained right-of-way to construct an extension of the Long Beach Freeway south of US Route 101A towards Terminal Island.  









The location of the Long Beach Freeway from the Santa Ana Freeway to Huntington Drive was adopted by the California Highway Commission on July 24, 1953.  The July/August 1953 California Highways & Public Works displays California State Route 15 approaching US Routes 99-60-70 at the Ramona Freeway.  The same volume features a construction update in addition to a sketch of the Long Beach Freeway between Atlantic Boulevard and the Santa Ana Freeway.  Anaheim Street is noted to have been relocated over the Long Beach owned portion of the Long Beach Freeway.  The Long Beach owned portion of the Long Beach Freeway is noted to have a planned target completion at some point in the next three years. 










California State Route 15/LRN 167 is shown relocated onto the completed Long Beach Freeway from US Route 101A/LRN 60 north to Atlantic Avenue near Compton on the 1955 Division of Highways Map.  


The March/April 1956 California Highways & Public Works featured the partially completed Santa Ana Freeway/Long Beach Freeway interchange.  


1957 Legislative Chapter 1911 extended the definition of LRN 167 south to the planned Harbor Freeway (LRN 165).  The 1958 Division of Highways Map first features the new planned southern extension of LRN 167.  The southern extension of LRN 167 is shown with an undetermined routing which bypassed Terminal Island but intersected the Terminal Island Freeway near B Street.  



The November/December 1957 California Highways & Public Works noted approximately 10 of the 16.5 miles of the state-owned portion (LRN 167) of the Long Beach Freeway from US Route 101A/LRN 60 to the Santa Ana Freeway (US Route 101/LRN 166) was completed.  The extension north to Huntington Drive was originally known as the Concord Freeway when added to the State Highway System during 1951.  The Concord Freeway was reassigned to the Long Beach Freeway corridor by the California Highway Commission during November 1954. 



The September/October 1958 California Highways & Public Works featured the completed Long Beach Freeway from US Route 101A/LRN 60 north to the Santa Ana Freeway.  The completed 16.5-mile corridor was dedicated on July 10, 1958.  The article notes the Long Beach Freeway corridor was first recommended during 1913 as a new highway following the Los Angeles River.  The Long Beach Freeway was recognized legislatively on June 23, 1947.  










California State Route 15/LRN 167 is shown relocated onto the Long Beach Freeway between US Route 101A/LRN 60 and the Santa Ana Freeway on the 1959 Division of Highways Map.  California State Route 15 is shown having a discontinuity via Atlantic Boulevard north of the Santa Ana Freeway.  It is unclear if California State Route 15 continuation signage existed on Atlantic Boulevard between the Long Beach Freeway and Santa Ana Freeway. 



The first reference to a proposed bridge from San Pedro to Terminal Island appears in a Division of Highways District VII Advanced Freeway Planning article in the January/February 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The article cites an origin and destination survey which had been conducted in the Los Angeles Harbor area during July/August 1958.  Said survey was used to secure traffic data to be used for the San Pedro-Terminal Island Toll Crossing.   






















1959 Legislative Chapter 1062 extended the northern terminus of LRN 167 to US Route 66A/California State Route 11/LRN 9 in Pasadena.  LRN 167 appears on the 1960 Division of Highways Map as a planned freeway with no adopted routing north of Huntington Drive to US Route 66A/CA 11/LRN 9.  



The proposed Terminal Island Bridge appears as a concept drawing in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The article notes the California Highway Commision on April 30th, 1959, decided to fund the Terminal Island Bridge as a tolled facility.  The Terminal Island Bridge project area is described as being approximately 7,400 feet.  The Terminal Island Bridge is stated to planned for construction a short distance north of the Terminal Island Ferry route in San Pedro.  The Terminal Island Bridge is stated to be planned to tie into Seaside Avenue on Terminal Island near Mormon Street.  The Terminal Island Bridge is explicitly noted in the article to be planned as a component of the Long Beach Freeway. 


The 1959 Division of Highways Map shows the southern planned extension of LRN 167 with an alteration which crossed Terminal Island.  The new undetermined freeway location is shown bypassing the Seaside Avenue pontoon bridge.  The planned Terminal Island Bridge is shown as a component of LRN 167. 


The 1960 Division of Highways Map displays the southern extension of LRN 167 with an undetermined routing along Seaside Avenue on Terminal Island.  


The January/February 1960 California Highways & Public Works noted the Terminal Island Bridge was adopted as part of a 1.6-mile freeway by the California Highway Commission on August 28th, 1959.  The same volume also noted construction by the city of Long Beach on their portion of the Long Beach Freeway had reached Broadway by 1959.  The article stub also notes the Long Beach Freeway designation as officially defined ended at US Route 101A. 



The July/August 1960 California Highways & Public Works features the beginning of construction of the Terminal Island Bridge.  A groundbreaking ceremony commencing construction of the Terminal Island Bridge is stated to have taken place on May 28th, 1960.  The Terminal Island Bridge is stated to have an anticipated opening during summer 1963.  



The September/October 1960 California Highways & Public Works features co-operative surveys between the Division of Highways and city of Los Angeles City Engineering Department on the Terminal Island Bridge project. 




The Division of Highways began location studies on the Pasadena extension of LRN 167 and the Long Beach Freeway during 1960.  On April 21, 1960, the State formally notified the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena and Alhambra that studies were being initiated for the location of the Long Beach Freeway from Huntington Drive to the Foothill Freeway.  The March/April 1961 California Highways & Public Works notes Senate Bill 480 established a 1.7-mile extension of the Long Beach Freeway from the city of Alhambra to near the junction of the Foothill-Pasadena Freeways.  The Long Beach Freeway extension is stated to be under advanced planning along with the north/south leg of the Foothill Freeway through Pasadena.  


The March/April 1961 California Highways & Public Works featured a photo of the Long Beach owned portion of the Long Beach Freeway south of Anaheim Street to Broadway. 


The May/June 1961 California Highways & Public Works referenced $5,000,000 dollars in highway bonds being sold to fund construction of the Terminal Island Bridge. 


The July/August 1961 California Highways & Public Works noted the Terminal Island Bridge had been renamed the Vicent Thomas Bridge via Assembly Concurrent Resolution 131.  Vincent Thomas was as a California Assemblyman from San Pedro who served from 1941-1974.


The November/December 1961 California Highways & Public Works announced the Long Beach Freeway between the Santa Ana Freeway and San Bernardino Freeway had opened to traffic.  


California State Route 15/LRN 167 is shown relocated onto the Long Beach Freeway north of the Santa Ana Freeway to the San Bernardino Freeway on the 1962 Division of Highways Map


The November/December 1962 California Highways & Public Works notes a substructure contract on the Vincent Thomas Bridge was recently completed.  The article notes the Vincent Thomas Bridge was planned to be opened during December 1963.



Construction of the Vincent Thomas Bridge is featured as the cover of the January/February 1963 California Highways & Public Works.  


The March/April 1963 California Highways & Public Works references the Vincent Thomas Bridge as now part of the Seaside Freeway.  Despite the Vincent Thomas Bridge no longer being part of the Long Beach Freeway corridor, it is noted to be part of LRN 167 and California State Route 15. 



The July/August 1963 California Highways & Public Works features the nearly complete Vincent Thomas Bridge as the back cover.  


The November/December 1963 California Highways & Public Works notes the Vicent Thomas Bridge opened to traffic during November 15th, 1963.  The Vincent Thomas Bridge is stated to have cost $21,000,000 dollars to construct and was at the time the only tolled State Highway facility in the Los Angeles Metro Area.  Upon the opening of the Vincent Thomas Bridge traffic in both directions were tolled $0.25 cents in each direction.  The Vincent Thomas Bridge notably is the only suspension bridge in the world which is supported entirely by piles.  Upon the opening of the Vincent Thomas Bridge service on the Terminal Island Ferry ceased.  



The 1964 California State Highway Renumbering had numerous impacts on the Long Beach Freeway corridor.  LRN 167 along with the other Legislative Route Numbers were dropped in favor of field signage.  California State Route 15 was replaced with the second iteration of California State Route 7 to avoid numbering duplication with Interstate 15.  The initial legislative description of California State Route 7 was as follows:

"From Route 11 in San Pedro to Route 210 via Long Beach and including a bridge, with at least four lanes, from San Pedro at or near Boshlke Slough to Terminal Island." 

The second iteration of California State Route 7 appears on the 1964 Division of Highways Map.  





Project Report VII-232 dated February 19, 1964, identified seven corridors for the Long Beach Freeway through Pasadena.  According to cahighways.org it was suggested the connection to Interstate 210/Foothill Freeway be routed through Figueroa Canyon.  This was later dropped from a consideration following public hearings in Pasadena.  The California Highway Commision adopted the Green-Red Line as documented in their reported findings dated November 18th, 1964.  This corridor came to be known as the "Merdian Route" between Huntington Drive and Interstate 210.  

The March/April 1964 California Highways & Public Works features California State Route 7/Seaside Avenue at the Vincent Thomas Bridge toll plaza on Terminal Island.  


The March/April 1964 California Highways & Public Works notes the interchange between California State Route 7/Vincent Thomas Bridge and California State Route 11/Harbor Freeway is stated to be in design phases.  As originally constructed California State Route 7 upon entering San Pedro via the Vincent Thomas Bridge followed North Street and Pacific Avenue to reach California State Route 11/Harbor Freeway.  The volume noted the entire Seaside Freeway corridor was folded back into the Long Beach Freeway. 


1965 Legislative Chapter 1372 extended California State 47 over the Vincent Thomas Bridge to California State Route 11 and the Harbor Freeway.  The extension California State Route 47 led to California State Route 7 being truncated to California State Route 1.  The extended California State Route 47 over the Vicent Thomas Bridge and truncated definition of California State Route 7 first appears on the 1966 Division of Highways Map.  The planned extension of the Long Beach Freeway via Seaside Boulevard on Terminal Island is also shown to be withdrawn.  



The adopted routing of the Long Beach Freeway from Huntington Drive to Interstate 210 was announced in the January/February 1965 California Highways & Public Works.  The article stub notes the routing of Long Beach Freeway extension was adopted along with 77 freeway miles from 10 routes during the September-December California Highway Commission meetings.  California State Route 7 and the Long Beach Freeway are noted to be under construction from California State Route 212/Valley Boulevard to Huntington Drive.  The Long Beach Freeway opened between Interstate 10 north to California State Route 212/Valley Boulevard during February 1965.  



The adopted routing of California State Route 7 and the Long Beach Freeway between Huntington Drive and Interstate 210 appears on the 1965 Division of Highways Map.  


On October 19, 1965, construction broke ground on the Gerald Desmond Bridge along Seaside Boulevard in Long Beach.  The structure was a direct replacement for the 1944 Terminal Island Pontoon Bridge.  The structure was named in honor of Long Beach city attorney Gerald Desmond who died during January 1964

The city of Los Angeles signed a freeway agreement for the Long Beach Freeway extension during April 1965 which was followed by Alhambra during May 1966.  During February 1967 the city of Pasadena approved the alignment of the Long Beach Freeway and signed a freeway agreement with the Division of Highways on March 30, 1967.  The Federal Highway Administration approved the adopted extension of the Long Beach Freeway.  The city of South Pasadena requested a reconsideration of the routing of the Long Beach Freeway extension three times which were all denied.  

The adopted planned extension of the Long Beach Freeway from Interstate 10 to Valley Boulevard appears on the 1966 Division of Highways Map


The September/October 1966 California Highways & Public Works referenced the ongoing construction of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.  The article stub notes the Gerald Desmond Bridge would provide a direct link for Terminal Island traffic to reach the Long Beach Freeway.  


The Gerald Desmond Bridge was completed during June 1968.  The Gerald Desmond Bridge was a five lane through arch span which was 5,134 feet long.  The Gerald Desmond Bridge can be seen in a photo dated to January 2014 (attributed/source Darkest Tree).


During November 1969 the California Highway Commission directed the Division of Highways to study the proposed Westerly Route alignment proposed by the city South Pasadena for the Long Beach Freeway extension.  During January 1970 National Environmental Policy Act was signed into law on the Federal Level which was followed by the California Environmental Quality Act during November 1970.  Both the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environment Quality Act would prove to be future obstructions to the Long Beach Freeway extension largely due to the require of Environmental Impact Studies (EIS).  

The Division of Highways issued its Adopted Line Report during February 1972 which was accepted by Pasadena during the following March.  The city of South Pasadena reaffirmed their recommendation of the Westerly Route for the Long Beach Freeway extension during April 1972.  The California Highway Commission would go on to conclude the Westerly Route was not feasible during November 1972. 

Caltrans (formed during January 1973) released an Environmental Impact Report on the Long Beach Freeway corridor between Interstate 10 to Huntington Drive.  The city of South Pasadena the same month would file a lawsuit to stop construction of the Long Beach Freeway extension pending compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act.  Following an injunction being ordered during 1973 the Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans started the EIS process.  Below is a summary of the timeline of the history of the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway from 1973 through 1983. 

-  December 23, 1974, a draft EIS was approved. 
-  March 1975 Caltrans released its draft EIS.  Pasadena, South Pasadena and Alhambra agree to the "Plan C" alignment during July 1975.  The Plan C alignment was a modification of the Westerly Alignment.  
-  August 1975 the State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1716 (the Arroyo Seco Preservation Act) to prevent the Long Beach Freeway extension from encroaching on park land. 
-  September 1975, Caltrans tentatively approved the Plan C alignment. 
-  March 1976, Caltrans was nearing the completion of the one-way couplet known locally as the "Wishbone" on Pasadena Avenue and St. John Avenue.  This segment included the portion of freeway which is now today part of unsigned California State Route 710.  
-  July 29, 1976, the first supplemental draft EIS was approved.  The supplemental draft EIS addressed four additional alternatives which did not pass-through Arroyo Seco.  
-  August 1976, the Los Angeles County Supervisors supported completing the Long Beach Freeway to Huntington Drive.  
-  September 1976, Caltrans released its supplemental draft EIS.  Public hearings and community workshops regarding the supplemental draft EIS were held during October-December 1976.  
-  December 1976, the cities of Los Angeles and Pasadena filed a lawsuit to completion of the gap in the Long Beach Freeway.  
-  June 1977, Caltrans submitted a proposed final EIS which presented a partial completion alternative as a preferred alternative.  The Federal Highway Administration rejected the proposed final EIS due to the route segmentation and lack of local agency support during August 1977. 
-  January 1978, Senate Bill 86 (known as the Roberti Bill) imposed conditions for state agencies disposing of residential properties.  
-  May 1980, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission held public hearings on the Long Beach Freeway project location.  The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission reaffirmed support for the completion of the Long Beach Freeway extension during July 1980.
-  March 22, 1983, the second supplemental draft EIS was approved.  The second draft EIS was mandated by Assembly Bill 1623 (enacted March 16, 1982) which established a process leading to a route selection for a freeway link.

Below the draft supplemental EIS from Caltrans (dated March 30, 1983) can be seen.  The draft supplemental EIS depicts the differences in the Merdian Corridor and Westerly Corridor of the planned Long Beach Freeway extension.  


1982 Legislative Chapter 914 extended the definition of California State Route 7 to include the portion of freeway from California State Route 1 to Harbor Drive and Seaside Boulevard on Terminal to California State Route 47.  The extension of California State Route 7 included the Gerald Desmond Bridge but would not become effective unless the California Transportation Commission approved a financial plan.  1984 Legislative Chapter 409 defined/transferred the second Route 7 to Route 710 as "Route 1 to Route 210" with additional conditions which would extend it to the Port of Long Beach.  

On September 23, 1983, Caltrans submitted an application to add California State Route 7 and the Long Beach Freeway from California State Route 1 in Long Beach to Interstate 10 to the Interstate System as Interstate 710.  The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the addition of Interstate 710 on May 24, 1984.  During October 1984 the FHWA would approve the addition of Interstate 710 and the Long Beach Freeway from California State Route 1 to Interstate 10 as non-chargeable Interstate.  




On December 8, 1984, AASHTO would approve a second request by Caltrans to extend Interstate 710 to Ocean Boulevard at the Port of Long Beach.  





Interstate 710 and unsigned California State Route 710 both appear on the 1986 Caltrans Map.  Despite being approved as Interstate 710 the segment of the Long Beach Freeway to Harbor Scenic Drive is shown as a planned highway.  California State Route 710 effectively is shown existing north of Interstate 10 to Valley Boulevard along with the Pasadena gap of the Long Beach Freeway.   



On October 24, 1986, the third supplemental draft EIS of the Long Beach Freeway Pasadena Gap was approved, which identified the new Meridian Variation Alternative as the locally preferred as the California Transportation Commission adopted alternative.  The Meridian Variation Alternative was developed to lessen the impacts to historic properties in the Long Beach Freeway Pasadena Gap corridor.  On May 1988, a supplemental section evaluation to the third supplemental draft EIS was circulated.  This documented addressed the impacts on the Prospect Circle Historic District which at the time was found to be eligible to the National Register of Historic Places. 

On March 27, 1990, an environmental reevaluation of the Long Beach Freeway Pasadena Gap was approved and concluded the third supplemental draft EIS was not necessary since there was no significant information since the 1986 second draft EIS.  On January 10, 1992, another environmental reevaluation was approved.  On March 2, 1992, the FHWA approved the 1988 evaluation for the Long Beach Freeway in the Pasadena Gap.  Provisions required Caltrans to investigate all reasonable techniques and measures to reduce the footprint on the affected communities attached to the Long Beach Freeway Pasadena Gap corridor of California State Route 710.  The Federal Highway Administration added a stipulation that they would not execute the Record of Decision until Caltrans satisfied the provisions they established.  

On January 15, 1993, the Meridian Variation Enhancement and mitigation Advisory Committee issued its final report.  The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation referred the California State Route 710/Long Beach Freeway Pasadena Gap project to the Council on Environmental Quality over concerns over the impact on historic properties of a Low-Build Alternative.  The Council on Environmental Quality did not accept the referral but recommended the Federal Highway Administration and Advisory Council on Environmental Quality work together to update historic inventory and evaluation the feasibility of the Low-Build proposal. 

On June 1993, the final report from the Route 710 Meridian Variation Enhancement and Mitigation Advisory Committee recommended several mitigations which were adopted by Caltrans and resulted in changes to the preferred alternative identified in the final EIS.  A notable revision was the prohibition of trucks beyond local deliveries from the planned Long Beach Freeway in the Pasadena Gap.  

Following several years of discussions, the Federal Highway Administration reached a Record of Decision during April 1998.  The FHWA Record of Decision selected the modified Meridian Variation Corridor.  The planned corridor of California State Route 710 in the Pasadena Gap would include mostly a depressed grade along with some cut and cover tunnels.  Below some of the alternatives proposed in the final EIS can be seen in a map published by the Los Angeles Times.  


On 1999, U.S. District Court Judge Pregerson issued a preliminary injunction which prohibited Caltrans from proceeding with construction of California State Route 710 in the Pasadena Gap.  Judge Pregerson identified violations of the Clean Air Act, Environmental Protection Act and Historic Preservation Act.  During 2002, Caltrans shelved plans to connect the gap in the Long Beach Freeway with a surface alignment of California State Route 710 in favor of a tunnel alternative.  In 2003, the FHWA withdrew their Record of Decision on the California State Route 710 Pasadena Gap corridor.  In 2004, the California Transportation Commission withdrew their Notice of Determination on the California State Route 710 Pasadena Gap corridor.  

Seaside Boulevard on Terminal Island is shown constructed to expressway standards as part of California State Route 710 on the 2005 Caltrans Map.  The map also displays Interstate 710 being complete from Ocean Boulevard to California State Route 1.  California State Route 47-California 1 segment of California State Route 710/Interstate 710 has never been officially named by the California Transportation Commission.  Despite never having been formally legislatively extended south of California State Route 1 the definition of Interstate 710/California State Route 710 is shown to be alterted.  The segment is typically referred to as the Seaside Freeway.  



During August 2005, the State authorized studies to evaluate the technical feasibility and impacts of the Tunnel Alternative in the Long Beach Freeway Pasadena Gap.  In June 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported there was three possible routes for twin 4.5-mile tunnels which would connect the Long Beach Freeway from the terminus of Interstate 710 at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to Interstate 210 in Pasadena:

1.  Along the same path that had been suggested for the Meridian alignment.
2.  A slightly longer path that would pass under the existing Fremont Avenue corridor.
3.  A more eastern path that follow under Huntington Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue.  

During 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Long Beach Freeway tunnel study was completed and explored five zones.  The tunnel studies concluded the tunneling routing of the Long Beach Freeway would be feasible and would be about 200 below the ground.  The Los Angeles Times cited a finalized draft EIS was expected to be complete by 2010.  During February 2010, the Glendale Press reported the debate over the Long Beach Freeway tunnel alternative reinvigorated controversy in late 2009 when Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitain Authority released their feasibility study.   

During May 2012, it was reported Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitain Authority was considering twelve options for the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway along with a "no build" option.  In August 2012, Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitain Authority eliminated five of the twelve potential corridors for the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway.  The five listed remaining options were cited as:

A.  No build.
B.  Bus rapid transit route (BRT-6): from Los Angeles to Pasadena.
C.  Light Rail (LR-4): from East Los Angeles to Pasadena.
D.  Intelligent traffic system option.
E.  F-7 tunnel alignment.

The proposed F-7 tunnel alignment in the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway can be seen below. 


During July 2012 the Port of Long Beach would enter into a contract with Shimmrick Construction Company to design/build a replacement span for the Gerland Desmond Bridge. Construction of the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge would break ground on January 8, 2013.  2013 Legislative Chapter 525/Assembly Bill 788 deleted the financial provisions which in theory should have obstructed Interstate 710/California State Route 710 from being extended south from California State Route 1. 

During September 2012, the Los Angeles City Council voted to oppose any extension of California State Route 710 or the Long Beach Freeway in the Pasadena Gap.  In January 2013, the Los Angeles County Metropolitain Authority released an analysis of the remaining alternatives in the Pasadena Gap corridor of the Long Beach Freeway.  The June 2013 the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority voted to block fast-track funding to close the gap in the Long Beach Freeway.  In October 2013, a bill was approved which directed Caltrans to sell nearly 500 properties it owned in Los Angeles, South Pasadena and Pasadena in the acquired right-of-way of the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway.  The same bill removed a surface alignment of the Long Beach Freeway in the Pasadena Gap from consideration.  

During March 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that any major modifications to the Route 710 freeway in the Pasadena Gap would cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.  The draft EIS provided a number of options to address the 4.5-mile Pasadena Gap along with a "no build" option.  Through 2015-2017 the Pasadena Gap faced continued resistance to all design options from various groups and government bodies.  In February 2017 Assemblyman Chris Holden introduced legislation to prohibit construction of a tunnel in the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway.  During May 2017 the Los Angeles County Metropolitain Authority to pursue an alternative to the tunnel in the Pasadena Gap and connecting the Long Beach Freeway.  

2019 Assembly Bill 29/Chapter 791 and Senate Bill 7/Chaptered 835 were chaptered on October 21, 2019, with the latter taking precedence.  Senate Bill 7 changed the definition of Route 710 in the Freeway & Expressway system which removed the Pasadena Gap from the definition.  Senate Bill 7 specifically required alterations of the legislative definition of Route 710 segment (2) and segment (3) which would become effective on January 1, 2024:

(2)  Route 1 near the City of Long Beach to Alhambra Avenue in the City of Los Angeles.  
(3)  California Boulevard in the City of Pasadena to Route 210. 

Senate Bill explicitly deleted the unconstructed Pasadena Gap portion of Route 710 from the Freeway & Expressway system.  Senate Bill 7 added Section 622.3 to the State Highway Code:

(a) Upon determination by the commission that it is in the best interest of the state to do so, the commission may, upon terms and conditions approved by it, relinquish to the City of Pasadena the portion of Route 710 within the jurisdictional limits of that city, if the department and city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. 
(b) A relinquishment under this section shall become effective on the date following the county recorder's recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.
(c) On and after the effective date of relinquishment, all the following shall occur:
(1) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall cease to be a state highway. 
(2) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.
(3) The City of Pasadena shall ensure continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 710.   

Construction of the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge concluded on October 2, 2020, and the structure opened to traffic three days later as part of California State Route 710.  The process of demolition of the Gerald Desmond Bridge commenced immediately.  The 8,800 foot Long Beach International Gateway Bridge can be seen below near to the Gerald Desmond Bridge in a Port of Long Beach photo. 


Despite the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge likely meeting Interstate standards Caltrans never submitted a request to extend the Interstate 710 beyond Ocean Boulevard.  Interstate 710 still shows as terminating at Ocean Boulevard on Federal Highway Administration logs.  


The California Transportation Commission acted to relinquish the unsigned stub of California State Route 710 and the Long Beach Freeway in Pasadena on June 29, 2022.  It is unclear what will become of the unsigned stub of California State Route 710 in Pasadena.  The relinquishment of stub of California State Route 710 was announced in the Pasadena-Star News:




Part 2; false Interstate 710 north of Interstate 10

As noted in Part 1, what is presently signed as Interstate 710 north of Interstate 10 to Valley Boulevard has never been officially part of the Interstate Highway System.  The corridor can be seen northbound in a series of photos by Gribblenation's Doug Kerr taken during 2013. 










Part 3; false Interstate 710 on Terminal Island

As noted in Part 1, what is presently signed as Interstate 710 from California State Route 47 on Terminal Island to Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach has never been added to the Interstate Highway System.  Interstate 710 can be seen signed from the southern terminus of the Terminal Island Freeway (California State Route 47) along Seaside Boulevard. 


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Paper Highways: The Unbuilt New Orleans Bypass (Proposed I-410)

  There are many examples around the United States of proposed freeway corridors in urban areas that never saw the light of day for one reason or another. They all fall somewhere in between the little-known and the infamous and from the mundane to the spectacular. One of the more obscure and interesting examples of such a project is the short-lived idea to construct a southern beltway for the New Orleans metropolitan area in the 1960s and 70s. Greater New Orleans and its surrounding area grew rapidly in the years after World War II, as suburban sprawl encroached on the historically rural downriver parishes around the city. In response to the development of the region’s Westbank and the emergence of communities in St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes as viable suburban communities during this period, regional planners began to consider concepts for new infrastructure projects to serve this growing population.  The idea for a circular freeway around the southern perimeter of t

Hernando de Soto Bridge (Memphis, TN)

The newest of the bridges that span the lower Mississippi River at Memphis, the Hernando de Soto Bridge was completed in 1973 and carries Interstate 40 between downtown Memphis and West Memphis, AR. The bridge’s signature M-shaped superstructure makes it an instantly recognizable landmark in the city and one of the most visually unique bridges on the Mississippi River. As early as 1953, Memphis city planners recommended the construction of a second highway bridge across the Mississippi River to connect the city with West Memphis, AR. The Memphis & Arkansas Bridge had been completed only four years earlier a couple miles downriver from downtown, however it was expected that long-term growth in the metro area would warrant the construction of an additional bridge, the fourth crossing of the Mississippi River to be built at Memphis, in the not-too-distant future. Unlike the previous three Mississippi River bridges to be built the city, the location chosen for this bridge was about two

Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (Memphis, TN)

  Like the expansion of the railroads the previous century, the modernization of the country’s highway infrastructure in the early and mid 20th Century required the construction of new landmark bridges along the lower Mississippi River (and nation-wide for that matter) that would facilitate the expected growth in overall traffic demand in ensuing decades. While this new movement had been anticipated to some extent in the Memphis area with the design of the Harahan Bridge, neither it nor its neighbor the older Frisco Bridge were capable of accommodating the sharp rise in the popularity and demand of the automobile as a mode of cross-river transportation during the Great Depression. As was the case 30 years prior, the solution in the 1940s was to construct a new bridge in the same general location as its predecessors, only this time the bridge would be the first built exclusively for vehicle traffic. This bridge, the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, was completed in 1949 and was the third