Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill this week that will require state highway administrators to enter into an agreement with South Pasadena if a surface freeway is to be built through the city.
State and Los Angeles County transportation officials are already in the early stages of developing an environmental study for the long planned, and highly controversial, extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena.
In legislation passed in 1982, South Pasadena lost the right enjoyed by most cities to negotiate with the California Department of Transportation over construction of a freeway, officials said. The bill signed by Brown on Monday, Assembly Bill 751, restored that right to the city.
The bill requires Caltrans to secure a street closure agreement with the city if a freeway is built.
The bill’s author, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said Tuesday that proponents pushed for its passage with the understanding that South Pasadena would be open to viable alternatives — such as an underground tunnel — to bridge the 710 Freeway gap.