State Route 710 Northern Stub Repurposing

Project Overview

The City of Pasadena has been working with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to transfer control of the State Route 710 North (SR-710 North) “stub” area to the City of Pasadena. This stub area is approximately between Walnut Street on the north, California Boulevard on the south, St John Avenue on the west and Pasadena Ave on the east. Over the last year, the City and Caltrans started the first step in this process. The focus of this webpage is to provide an update on this process and share the recently completed Technical Feasibility Assessment.

This Technical Feasibility Assessment does not identify the future land use, nor does it define the local street network for this area. That process will occur as the next step to revision and redefine the land use for this area of roughly sixty acres. In addition, this study does not address Caltrans owned homes along the corridor.

In December 2019, the City of Pasadena secured the services of a consultant team lead by PointC that included Iteris, Inc. and Kimley-Horn Associates to complete a technical feasibility assessment. The purpose of the Technical Feasibility Assessment was to determine the technical feasibility of converting the existing “freeway-to-freeway” interchange connectors into “freeway to local street” on and off ramps to Interstate 210 and State Route 134. The Technical Feasibility Assessment demonstrated that this conversion is feasible and does not compromise the safety or operations of the state and interstate highway facilities, utilizing existing and future (2045) traffic volumes, collision data, and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) data.

SR 710 N Stub Repurposing Technical Feasibility Assessment

SR-710 North Stub Historical Background

This section of the SR-710 North was constructed over several years in the early 1970s and displaced at least 4,000 residents and destroyed 1,500 homes.  A majority of the homes were owned or rented by low income and minority residents.

SR-710 North Stub Relinquishment Background

In the November 26, 2018 State Route 710 North Project Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS), Caltrans identified the Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/TDM) as the locally preferred alternative. Since then, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has coordinated the advancement of TSM/TDM efforts to be implemented in lieu of at 710 North connection.

Identifying the TSM/TDM as the locally preferred alternative has facilitated local, multi-modal capacity enhancement projects to advance and be implemented, however, this action alone did not preclude the possibility of a future 710 North freeway connection. As long at the gap corridor remains listed in the California freeway and expressway system, the potential of a future connection exists.

Pasadena’s goal is to not only have the 710 North gap corridor delisted from the State highway system, but to have the streets within the City boundaries be relinquished to the City thereby regaining local control. Achieving relinquishment requires several interim steps, the first being reaching an agreement with Caltrans. Once an agreement between the City of Pasadena and Caltrans has been reached, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) serves as the final decision making body.

As a result of legislation introduced by State Senator Portantino (SB 7) and Assemblymember Holden (AB 29), the California Street and Highways Code, Section 622.3 indicates that the CTC may make a determination to relinquish the portion of SR 710 that is contained within the City of Pasadena to the City if Caltrans and the City enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. The ongoing coordination with Caltrans and feasibility study has served as the first key step towards the City’s efforts to securing an agreement from Caltrans.

SR710 Northern Stub Repurposing Technical Feasibility Assessment

Staff has been engaged with Caltrans in ongoing working group and coordination efforts aimed at determining the technical feasibility of converting the existing freeway-to-freeway interchange into a local street network with connections to I-210 and SR-134. This initial step of defining the local connections is the first step in the city’s long-term goal of regaining control over the 710N “stub” area, securing relinquishment and developing a land use and transportation plan for the area roughly between Walnut Street and California Boulevard.

Two concepts were developed in order to demonstrate to Caltrans how the local to freeway connection could function while preserving their operational capacity. A traffic operations analysis was conducted which included collection of existing traffic volumes, an operations analysis for existing conditions and future year 2045 conditions, a collision analysis, and an analysis of vehicle miles travelled (VMT). Caltrans identified a third option late in the study process, for which a qualitative analysis was conducted.

PointC has completed the technical feasibility assessment that included both a traffic analysis and an initial engineering analysis for this area. The Feasibility Study did not assume any land use considerations for the project area, but rather focused on the ability to eliminate the freeway-to-freeway interchange ramps and create local system connections to Interstate 210 and State Route 134 for purposes of demonstrating to Caltrans that such connections could be modified without impacting the freeway system’s operations.

The concepts are described in full in the study SR 710 N Stub Repurposing Technical Feasibility Assessment

Key features of each concept are as listed below. Detailed illustrations of the three concepts can be seen in the links below:

Key Features

Key features of each concept are as listed below. Detailed illustrations of the three concepts can be seen in the links below:

Concept 1

  • 710 ramp removal from Union Street to California Boulevard
  • Pasadena Avenue and St. John Avenue will serve as local primary connections and operate as complete street one-way couplet
  • Removal of SR-134 to SR-710 freeway connectors
  • Removal of I-210 to SR-710 connectors

Concept 2

  • 710 ramp removal from Union Street to California Boulevard
  • Pasadena Avenue and St. John Avenue will serve as local primary connections and operate as two-way complete streets
  • Removal of SR-134 to SR-710 freeway connectors
  • Removal of I-210 to SR-710 connectors

Concept 3

  • Northbound SR-710 ramp removal from Union Street to California Boulevard
  • Southbound SR-710 ramp, eastbound SR-134 to SR-710 and westbound I-210 to SR-710 connectors remain to Del Mar Boulevard
  • Pasadena Avenue serves as a two-way complete street
  • St. John Avenue serves as a two-way local street from Colorado Boulevard to Del Mar Boulevard

Next Steps

Based on the completed Feasibility Study developed through this collaborative effort, the City and Caltrans agreed to move forward with the next steps in the relinquishment process. On January 11, 2021, Caltrans communicated to the City of Pasadena that Caltrans was satisfied based on the analysis conducted to this point that modifying the system from a freeway-to-freeway connection to a local to freeway connection would not create a significant effect on state highway and/or federal highway operations or safety. As identified in the technical feasibility assessment, additional technical analysis was requested by Caltrans as part of the immediate next step. A supplemental analysis will be conducted in 2021 which includes a Vissim simulation model, intersection and freeway ramp queuing analysis and freeway ramp weaving analysis.

The freeway relinquishment process will continue in 2021 and 2022. A transitional roadway design will also be completed to account for near term changes in the roadway network to accommodate the future closure of the freeway-to-freeway ramps. This transitional roadway design will not preclude any future vision for this area. In addition, the much anticipated re-visioning process will begin in 2022, providing for extensive community engagement to determine the future land use for this area.