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Interstate 710 shield
Interstate 710
Auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System
Long Beach Freeway
Defined by S&HC § 622, maintained by Caltrans
Length: 23 mi (37 km)
History: 1930s as highway, 1964 as a number (SR 7), 1983-1984 as an interstate (I-710)[1]
South end: Desmond Bridge to Terminal Island
Major
junctions:
I-405 in Long Beach
I-105 in Lynwood
I-10 in Monterey Park
North end: Valley Boulevard in Alhambra
South Pasadena
SR 134 / I-210 in Pasadena
State highways in California (list - pre-1964)
< I-680 I-780 >
History - Unconstructed - Deleted - Freeway - Scenic

Interstate 710 (I-710 - colloquially referred to as "The 710") is a major north–south interstate freeway running for 23 miles (37 km) through Los Angeles County, California. Officially known as the Long Beach Freeway, it runs north from Long Beach to Alhambra following the course of the Los Angeles River for most of its route, rarely wandering more than a few hundred feet from the riverbed. South of SR 1 in Long Beach, I-710 is officially part of the Seaside Freeway.[2]

Originally known as the Los Angeles River Freeway prior to November 18, 1954,[3] I-710 has been planned since its inception to run all the way north to Pasadena, but the construction of the segment from Alhambra to Pasadena through South Pasadena has been delayed for several decades due to community opposition. Prior to 1983, the road was not an Interstate, although it was built to Interstate standards. Until 1964 it was State Route 15, but it was renumbered to State Route 7 in the 1964 renumbering because of the existence of Interstate 15, and to I-710 in 1983.

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System.[4]

Contents

Route description

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Current route

The southern terminus of the freeway presently signed as Interstate 710 is at Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach. From there, the Long Beach Freeway follows the course of the Los Angeles River to Atlantic Boulevard in the city of Bell. 710 then travels roughly due north, east of Downtown Los Angeles, to its current northern terminus at Valley Boulevard (just north of Interstate 10) in Alhambra, just east of the Los Angeles community of El Sereno.

Near its southern terminus, 710 actually separates into three spur freeways. One of the spurs, as mentioned, is the official interstate's termination at Ocean Boulevard. Another spur heads toward Downtown Long Beach and becomes Shoreline Drive. The third spur heads to the eastern piers of the Port of Long Beach and the Queen Mary.

History

1930 to 1965

Legislative Route 167 was defined in 1933 to run from San Pedro east to Long Beach and north to Monterey Park.[5] An extension was added in 1947, taking it north to Pasadena.[6] State Route 15 was signed in 1934 along the section of Legislative Route 167 from Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 3, later U.S. Route 101 Alternate, now State Route 1) in Long Beach north to Garvey Avenue (U.S. Route 99, replaced by Interstate 10) in Monterey Park. The original pre-freeway alignment ran along Los Robles Avenue (Pasadena) and Atlantic Boulevard.[1][7]The freeway replacement of SR 15/LR 167 was built from 1953 to 1965.[8] The whole route of LR 167, including the proposed extensions west to San Pedro and north to Pasadena, was renumbered State Route 7 in the 1964 after it was decommissined from portions of San Diego Freeway which is now Interstate 405 state highway renumbering, as the number 15 conflicted with Interstate 15. In 1965 the route was truncated to State Route 1 in Long Beach; the part from SR 1 south and west to State Route 47 was deleted, and the rest from SR 47 west to State Route 11 (now Interstate 110) became part of SR 47.

1965 to present

The section of Long Beach Freeway was built from 1954 to 1975. The Long Beach Freeway was approved as a chargeable interstate in September 1983, and the Long Beach Freeway changed out the SR 7 signs with Interstate 710 in 1984. It was added shortly after the Harbor Freeway went up changing out the SR 11 signs with Interstate 110 in 1981.[9] The short stub in Pasadena was built in 1975, along with the adjacent sections of Interstate 210 and State Route 134.[8]

The section from SR 1 south and west to SR 47 was re-added to the legislative definition at some point. The existing freeway from SR 1 south to Ocean Boulevard was taken over by the state on August 25, 2000 in a trade with the City of Long Beach for former State Route 103 north of SR 1.[10] The rest of the defined route, west on Ocean Boulevard to SR 47, is still locally maintained.

Future

The South Pasadena Gap

Overview

The planned segment from Alhambra to Pasadena through South Pasadena has been subject to legal battles and has not been built yet. Because of these disputes, the freeway's northern terminus has been Valley Boulevard since the 1960s. However, a short unsigned freeway does exist in Pasadena, heading south from the interchange of Interstate 210 and State Route 134 to California Boulevard.

As a result of the route's incomplete condition, freeway signs are inconsistent in their identification of the northbound Long Beach Freeway's destination, with some indicating Pasadena as a control city and others identifying Valley Boulevard as the freeway's terminus. For example, approaching I-710 from State Route 60 (Pomona Freeway) in East Los Angeles, westbound traffic is given Valley Boulevard as the destination for northbound I-710, while eastbound traffic is given a destination of Pasadena. Even signs at the interchange with Interstate 105 show Pasadena as the destination for northbound I-710.

This signage suggests that Caltrans still fully expected to extend I-710 to Pasadena at that time, decades after the original proposals for the route through South Pasadena were defeated. Currently, traffic headed for Pasadena on I-710 is redirected to Interstate 10 (San Bernardino Freeway) eastbound by signs at the interchange between the two routes in Monterey Park. These signs identify both Pasadena and San Bernardino as control cities for the eastbound San Bernardino Freeway, although it does not actually pass through Pasadena. Rather, traffic destined for the city is directed to take State Route 19 (Rosemead Boulevard) northbound from its junction with I-10 (about 6 miles (9.7 km) or 10 kilometers east of the Long Beach Freeway) to reach Pasadena. In reality, however, most traffic from northbound I-710 is forced onto Fremont Avenue in Alhambra and South Pasadena, and the Pasadena Freeway (State Route 110).

The failure to complete the Long Beach Freeway has contributed to some traffic congestion in northeastern Los Angeles and the northwestern San Gabriel Valley, as there are no north–south freeways in the heavily populated area between Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) and Interstate 605 (San Gabriel River Freeway). Pro- and anti-710 lobbies have debated whether finishing I-710 would alleviate any of the San Gabriel Valley's congestion, or merely displace it from surface streets to the freeway.

Historic plans

The original plans for the unbuilt segment through South Pasadena had the freeway run parallel to Atlantic Boulevard in Alhambra and Los Robles Avenue in San Marino and Pasadena. However, opposition to this route by the people of Alhambra and San Marino resulted in an alternate routing that skirted Alhambra to the west and bisected South Pasadena. Subsequent opposition to the rerouted project by residents of South Pasadena and the Los Angeles district of El Sereno, and the resulting litigation, have prevented Caltrans from completing the northernmost leg of the route.

Current plans

Currently, Caltrans is researching the possibility of using advanced tunneling technologies to build the Long Beach Freeway under South Pasadena without disturbing the residential neighborhoods on the surface, similar to other tunnels through similarly sensitive cities like Versailles in France. The proposed twin 4.5-mile-long tunnels would be the longest in the United States, but are small compared with others around the world.[11]

South Pasadena's government has grudgingly conceded that it may assent to such a project. However, it is unclear whether this option would be financially feasible, owing to the state budget crisis of the early 21st century. Caltrans has indicated that the South Pasadena real estate that it owns along the original 710 right-of-way, which has appreciated several hundred percent in real terms since its acquisition in the mid-1960s, would currently command a sufficiently high price to pay for the state's share of the tunnel.

Between January and May 2009, Caltrans conducted soil samples for the tunneling project in the Pasadena area.

If the segment is eventually completed, the Long Beach Freeway and the Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) would form a continuous route around Los Angeles from Long Beach northwards through Pasadena, beyond the Verdugo Mountains via the Crescenta Valley, across the sparsely populated hills in Sunland-Tujunga and finally joining Interstate 5 at Newhall Pass at the northern end of the San Fernando Valley. Interstate 210 from Newhall Pass to Pasadena was expanded to eight lanes in anticipation of this.

Reconstruction

The explosive growth of cargo volumes handled at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has added an enormous amount of truck traffic to the Long Beach Freeway, since it is the most direct route between the port complex and the railyards in Vernon and East Los Angeles, as well as the Pomona and San Bernardino freeways that connect Los Angeles to railyards in San Bernardino and Colton. The freeway's pavement has been badly damaged as a result, since it was not designed to carry nearly as large of a load of truck traffic. It has also become a major source of air pollution, emanating from diesel-fueled trucks idling in rush hour traffic congestion and giving cities along its route some of the worst air quality in already smoggy Southern California.[12]

In response to these developments, Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have called for a radical expansion of the segment of the freeway between the San Diego (I-405) and Pomona (SR-60) Freeways. It would include dedicated truck lanes, elevated carpool lanes similar to those on the Harbor Freeway (I-110), and up to 10 lanes for general traffic. By using existing right-of-way along the Los Angeles River, very few homes would need to be taken by eminent domain. (Initial plans for the construction called for the condemnation of nearly a thousand residences, drawing fierce opposition from local governments and community activists along the route.) Groundbreaking on the ambitious new freeway, which would be one of the world's most advanced, is pending allocation of federal transportation funds.

Exit list

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage.

The entire route is in Los Angeles County.

Location Postmile
[13][14][15]
#[16] Destinations Notes
Long Beach SR 47 south – San Pedro Continuation beyond SR 47 north
SR 47 north / SR 103 north / Willow Street – Pier A Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Pier T Avenue – Piers S T
Gerald Desmond Bridge over Cerritos Channel
4.96 Port of Long Beach Piers A-J Northbound exit and southbound entrance; south end of state maintenance
5.46 1A Piers F-J, Queen Mary (Harbor Scenic Drive) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
5.98 1B Pico Avenue – Piers B-E Southbound exit and northbound entrance
6.06 1C Downtown Long Beach, Aquarium (Shoreline Drive) Southbound left exit and northbound entrance
6.38 1D Anaheim Street Signed as exit 1 northbound
6.88 2 SR 1 (Pacific Coast Highway)
7.89 3 Willow Street Signed as exits 3A (east) and 3B (west)
9.07 4 Wardlow Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
9.41 4 I-405 (San Diego Freeway) – San Diego, Santa Monica Former SR 7
10.82 6 Del Amo Boulevard Signed as exits 6A (east) and 6B (west) northbound
12.01 7 Long Beach Boulevard Signed as exits 7A (south) and 7B (north) southbound
12.89 8A Artesia Boulevard Northbound exit and southbound entrance
12.97 8 SR 91 (Artesia Freeway, Gardena Freeway) – Riverside, Redondo Beach Signed as exits 8A (east) and 8B (west) northbound and the opposite southbound
Compton 13.95 9 Alondra Boulevard – Compton Signed as exits 9A (east) and 9B (west) southbound
Paramount R14.98 10 Rosecrans Avenue
Lynwood R15.69 11A I-105 (Century Freeway) – Norwalk, El Segundo Signed as exit 11 northbound
11B Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Southbound exit and entrance
South Gate 16.99 12 Imperial HighwayLynwood Signed as exits 12A (east) and 12B (west) southbound
18.44 13 Firestone Boulevard Former SR 42
Bell 19.73 15 Florence AvenueBell
21.92 17A Atlantic Boulevard, Bandini Boulevard Signed as exits 17A (north/east) and 17B (south/west) northbound
Commerce 22.45 17B Washington BoulevardCommerce Signed as exit 17C northbound
23.28 18A I-5 north (Santa Ana Freeway) – Los Angeles Northbound exit and southbound entrance
23.28 18 I-5 south (Santa Ana Freeway) – Santa Ana Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Los Angeles 23.77 19 Whittier Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard Signed as exit 18B northbound; former SR 72
24.47 20A 3rd Street Signed as exit 20B northbound
24.63 20B SR 60 (Pomona Freeway) – Pomona, Los Angeles Signed as exit 20A northbound
24.97 20C Cesar Chavez Avenue
Monterey Park 26.38 21 Ramona Boulevard Northbound exit and southbound entrance
26.50 22 I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) – Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Pasadena Signed as exits 22A (west) and 22B (east) southbound
Alhambra T27.48 Valley Boulevard At-grade intersection
Gap in I-710
Pasadena T30.95 Columbia Street At-grade intersection
T31.76 California Boulevard At-grade intersection
South end of freeway
T32.11 Del Mar Boulevard Southbound exit and northbound entrance
T32.45 Colorado BoulevardPasadena Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R32.72 SR 134 west (Ventura Freeway) – Ventura Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R32.72 I-210 east (Foothill Freeway) – San Bernardino Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R32.72 I-210 west (Foothill Freeway) – San Fernando Northbound exit and southbound entrance

Spurs

Both spurs are entirely in Long Beach, Los Angeles County.

Harbor Scenic Drive (exit 1A)
Destinations Notes
Queen Mary Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Harbor Scenic Drive, Harbor Plaza – Piers H-J Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Harbor Plaza – Port of Long Beach, Piers F-G, Fire HQ Southbound exit only
Downtown Long Beach (Queensway Bridge) Northbound exit and entrance
Queensway Drive Northbound exit and entrance
Pico Avenue – Piers F-G No northbound exit
Downtown Long Beach (Ocean Boulevard) Northbound exit only
I-710 north (Long Beach Freeway) – Pasadena Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Shoreline Drive (exit 1C)
Destinations Notes
Pine Avenue (Shoreline Drive) – Convention Center, Shoreline Village Continuation beyond Queensway Bridge
Queen Mary, Events Park, Cruise Ships (Queensway Bridge) At-grade intersection
Golden Shore, Catalina Landing Southbound exit and entrance
Ocean Boulevard Northbound exit and entrance
Shoreline Drive Northbound U-turn
Pine Avenue, Broadway – Long Beach Civic Center Southbound exit and northbound entrance
6th Street east – Downtown Long Beach Southbound exit and northbound entrance
9th Street, Anaheim Street – Port of Long Beach Northbound exit and southbound entrance
I-710 north (Long Beach Freeway) – Pasadena Northbound exit and southbound entrance

References

External links


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