The study of the 710 extension is the latest development in a decades-long controversy
over whether the 4.5-mile freeway gap between Pasadena and Alhambra should be closed with a tunnel, highway or some other alternative.
The 710 now ends in Alhambra just north of the 10 Freeway. Planners originally envisioned that the 710 would be extended through South Pasadena and Pasadena to link up with the 210 Freeway, but the idea has run into intense community and political opposition. There has been some discussion about building a tunnel
to complete the link, but that too has become controversial.
"We need to look at all the alternatives, modes and routes," said Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, who chairs the MTA board and is an opponent of a tunnel. "We want to make sure we are doing things the right way."
The measure approved Thursday calls for the MTA to hire a consultant to study the project and explore "a full range of options" to relieve congestion, improve safety, address community concerns, and supplement future planning efforts.