DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Opponents of the proposed underground tunnel extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway were dealt a major blow Thursday when county transportation officials voted to initiate a major environmental study of project.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Thursday to approve the more in-depth environmental studies needed to move the proposal forward.
Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, who as chairman of the MTA Board of Directors has been a vocal opponent of the tunnel, attempted to push an amendment that would have called on officials to first study all available solutions to the traffic congestion — including a tunnel, light rail and freight corridor improvements — and compare the cost benefits, but that effort failed.
“My concern is this is going to go to the Environmental Impact Report and get the same old rubber stamp,” he said.
Some board members said they would consider studying the cost benefits of other alternatives while completing the environmental study. Najarian voted against the environmental study motion.