Interested reset process, Metro approve alternative, without construction, expansion of Interstate 710 lower – Streetsblog Los Angeles

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Recognizing that its 710 highway widening plan is unrealistic, Metro now intends to approve a “no-build” alternative, while the agency prepares new plans for more egalitarian 710 corridor projects.

For decades, Metro and Caltrans pushed to widen the lower 710 freeway. Early on, Caltrans proposed expanding the 710 from 8 to 16 lanes – and initially community groups fought agency plans because they would increase pollution in one of the most polluted corridors in the U.S., and harm the health and well-being of most of them low-colored communities living there. Metro and Caltrans pushed different versions of the draft expanding and revolving expansion plans (EIRs) in 2012, 2013 and 2017. In 2018, the Metro Council approved EIR for a “local preferred alternative” that would cost $ 6 – plus a billion to destroy more than a hundred Homes and businesses to expand the 710 in two more lanes.

Community halls, organized together a coalition of health and environmental justice (CEHAJ), insisted that it does not displace and not surprisingly objected approved alternative to Metro. At the end of 2020, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the alternative of expanding the Metro seam 710 of the Clean Air Act. When the decision of the EPA published in May 2021, Kltrns quickly suspended the project, and then suspended the Metro Council, and has established a task force (another) 710 Freeway to advise on what Metro now calls “multi-strategy investment modal” for the corridor.

Task Force 710 Metro met last night. A large part of the meeting was devoted to discussion of the Declaration of the mission and goals of the task force (see pages 29-30 in the presentation of the Metro); There was also an update on how the plan Metro and Caltrans EIR finish the pending 2017.

Metro staff said that next month Interstate 710 EIR lower reaches for certification and the alternative “no build”.

Environmental studies have always sort of alternative to building without a baseline to measure the effects of the project – but it is quite unusual actually choose the agency with no alternative building. It is rare that agencies spend millions of dollars studying the effects of projects are not planning to build one way or another. (Metro has already spent more than $ 160 million on the current round of highway 710 research projects early.)

But why bother? Should the Metro Council really approve of not doing something?

The metro rationale for approving a non-construction alternative for widening the 710 highway - through a metro presentation
The metro rationale for approving non-construction for widening the 710 highway – through a metro presentation
Metro Flowchart shows how the decision of the clean air (red) brought out the widening of the highway (blue, green) and its implications for the early action plan – through a Metro presentation

Last night the Metro and Caltrans team expressed the agreement behind a lot of clichéd metaphors: Close the door, close the chapter, close the book before opening a new book.

But their rationale seems more in the direction of going back to building faster projects. Part of the 710 Highway Expansion was the “Early Action Plan” (EAP), which usually includes widening roads and ramps to and off Highway 710. The City Council (GCCOG) was greenlighting early steps toward these small widenings – but these EAP projects are justified , Awaiting approval for the 710 EIR large quilt.

Closing the 710 EIR will allow processes to get the small expansion projects out of limbo.

Approval of Highway 710 without a construction alternative may allow smaller projects (EAP – Early Action Plan) to continue with other environmental processes – through a Metro presentation

Metro staff said that they are now preparing the final EIR excluding construction, which is expected to be approved by the Board in May. The document will then have a 30-day public audit process, at which point Caltrans will issue a decision document.

Correction: This story initially mistakenly stated that Metro spent $ 160 million on 710 Freeway environmental studies, but $ 160+ million (shown in Metro FY22-23’s initial budget) that Metro Already spent The 710 widening project includes an EIR research project as well as preliminary projects – mainly widening roads ahead of the highway widening.

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