LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Vice Chair to the Metro Board, released the following statement after the Metro Board approved her motion to immediately suspend further work to advance the current 710 South Corridor Project EIR/EIS.
“Communities in Southeast Los Angeles which I proudly represent have been subject to environmental injustices for far too long. Metro’s efforts to address transportation issues of congestion and ensure the continued transport of goods cannot come at the cost of public health and the well-being of our communities.
By engaging with local stakeholders and community members, we have heard first-hand what the community needs are to address transportation issues and are prepared to explore creative avenues to bring them to fruition. This includes the exploration of bike paths, creating dedicated bus lines and investing in a clean truck infrastructure.
The widening of this freeway would have massive implications for the surrounding community including the displacement of homes and businesses leading to further racial segregation of Latinx communities. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has withheld approval to finalize the environmental document and the Director of CalTrans has stated that the project cannot move forward in its current form. This motion gives us the opportunity to take a step back and work hand in hand with community stakeholders to develop comprehensive, sustainable and inclusive solutions that will lead to healthier communities.”
In addition to halting work on the 710 South Corridor Project environmental document, the passage of this motion directs the Chief Executive Officer to evaluate all improvements included in the EIR/EIS that can be advanced separately from mainline 710 South infrastructure improvements including, but not limited to, projects related to active transportation, operational improvements, clean truck infrastructure, and community health; Identify additional locally-supported projects that can be advanced to enhance mobility along the 710 South Corridor and complement the non-freeway projects mentioned above, including but not limited to the West Santa Ana Branch, the LA River/Rio Hondo Confluence Station, LA River Master Plan, Rail to River, and the Atlantic Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit; And to collaborate with corridor cities, local stakeholders, community based organizations, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Gateway Council of Governments to conduct outreach and develop a funding plan in order to advance a revised Early Action Program that includes projects identified above. The revised Early Action Program should emphasize shovel ready projects and prioritize partnerships with labor to advance Metro’s Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy.
A report back is expected in September 2021.
To view the full motion, click here.