LONG BEACH - For the second time in four months, the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance listened to a presentation on plans to expand the Long Beach (710) Freeway.
A team that worked on the freeway project came to the Monday meeting armed with a PowerPoint presentation and poster-sized depictions of the project.
This time WANA was scheduled to take a vote on which of five of options it supported. Those ranged from doing nothing to any combination of systems, including elevated truckways, zero emissions requirements, automated electric guidance and tolls for trucks.
For the second time in four months, residents seemed to have more questions than answers.
So, when it came time to vote, most said they needed more time to consider the proposals. Coming in second place in the vote, which was nonbinding as the group lacked a quorum, was the "no build" option, which would make improvements along the edges of the roadway but wouldn't expand the number of lanes, as the other plans propose.
Also for the second time, residents seemed unimpressed by the controversial plan that would alleviate traffic congestion and increase freight capacity from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to East Los Angeles.
"Make no mistake, what they're building is a freight corridor," said John Cross, president of the West Long Beach Association, who attended the WANA event.
Joan Greenwood, the vice president of WANA, had a laundry list
The project team said its plans were based on community feedback that stressed improving air quality and public health, safety, aesthetic design and volume increase.
Monday night's meeting of WANA presaged a number of planned community study sessions and meetings in the next month that will allow residents to further investigate and study the proposals.
A draft environmental impact study has been released on the project, which would extend 17 miles from Long Beach to the Pomona (60) Freeway.
The first study session will look at design, aesthetics and traffic, the second at air quality and health risks, and the third at community impacts.
There also will be three community meetings at which residents will be able to make on-the-record comments and responses on the project and the report. Written comments also can be made online at any time at metro.net/projects/ i-710-corridor-project/.
The project has been a local concern since plans released in April 2003, which have since been scrapped, called for the razing of hundreds of homes and businesses, mostly in West and North Long Beach.
Originally, an oversight committee of elected officials was to have picked a final expansion plan in May 2003.
A final report should be released in 2013 and construction could begin in 2018 at a cost of $6 billion or more. So far, only $500 million of that money has been identified.
710 Freeway meetings
6-9 p.m. - Thursdays, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16, Progress Park, 15500 Downey Ave., Paramount
Aug. 7, 6-9 p.m., Progress Park, 15500 Downey Ave., Paramount
Aug. 8, 6-9 p.m., Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St., Long Beach
Aug. 9, 4-8 p.m., Rosewood Park, 5600 Harbor St., Commerce