MTA Supports Rebuilding Intersections, Ramps on 710 Freeway, But Backs Away From Widening Roadway

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For two decades, Los Angeles County transportation officials have clashed with local advocates over how to untangle traffic on the truck-choked 710 Freeway without doing more harm to surrounding neighborhoods in what’s known as “the diesel death zone.”

Faced again with a hotly contested proposal to widen the freeway, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors unanimously agreed Thursday to support rebuilding some intersections and ramps along the 19-mile route, but stopped short of adding a new lane in each direction.

Under an amendment written by county Supervisor Hilda Solis, Metro officials will be required to return to the board of directors and seek approval for widening the freeway once initial upgrades are complete, which could take years.

Improvements on the route are crucial to the movement of goods between the region’s sprawling network of freeways and warehouses, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle 40% of the country’s imports and exports, directors said. But some directors expressed reluctance to approve another freeway-widening project.

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