Interstate 710 in California
|Get started||Long Beach|
Interstate 710 or I -710 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of California. The highway forms a north-south route in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area and runs between Long Beach and Pasadena. It is the primary route between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with the shunting yards located further inland, primarily in the Inland Empire, the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles. Therefore, I-710 has huge numbers of trucks. The highway is also known as the Long Beach Freeway and is often referred to as “The 710 of seven-ten” by locals. Interstate 710 is 37 kilometers long.
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It stacks with CA-60 in East Los Angeles.
I-710 along the Los Angeles River at Bell Gardens.
The highway begins at Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, right in the dock area. Through industrial estates, the highway runs north, parallel to the canalized Los Angeles River, past downtown Long Beach, intersecting major streets such as Anaheim Street and the Pacific Coast Highway. The highway immediately has 2×3 lanes, and crosses Interstate 405 at Carson. Not a lot of traffic exchanges with the 405, and the junction also consists of a simple cloverleaf with one connecting arch. After this junction the road widens to 2×4 lanes. One passes through the vast industrial estates of Carson, and crosses the Artesia Freeway, from where one can take State Route 91 toward Carson to the west, or Anaheim and Riverside to the east. This is done via an impressive node with flyovers, with a total of four layers.
After this junction, the road has 2×5 lanes, with huge amounts of freight traffic. 39,000 trucks use the highway every day, causing enormous damage to the road surface. It passes through Compton and Paramount, both part of the so-called “Gateway Cities” between Los Angeles and Orange County. This area is mainly suburban, with the occasional transport company along the highway. A large 4-level stack junction crosses Interstate 105, which leads to Inglewood and the airport to the west, and Norwalk to the east. It again crosses major streets such as the Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard. At South Gate, the highway crosses the Los Angeles River to run on the east bank.
You then arrive at Commerce, a small town in inhabitants, but which consists almost entirely of industrial estate. This industrial estate, which coincides with Vernon, is no less than 12 kilometers from east to west. Here is a large shunting yard where many containers brought in on trucks from the Port of Los Angeles are transferred to freight trains. In this part of the United States, a large part of the rail traffic consists of freight trains. The town of Commerce is very unhealthy to live in, because of the many trucks, highways and diesel trains that surround this town on all sides. At East Los Angeles one crosses Interstate 5, where only exchange possibilities to and from the north are possible. Here, a lot of commuter traffic turns to downtown Los Angeles, and I-710 narrows to 2×4 lanes. One passes through East Los Angeles, officially not part of a municipality, but very densely built with 124,000 inhabitants.
One crosses the Pomona Freeway via a 4-level stack junction. Here you can go west to Los Angeles and Santa Monica, and east to Pomona and Riverside, located in the immense Inland Empire. A little further on, at Monterey Park, one crosses Interstate 10, which runs from Los Angeles toward San Bernardino. This is where almost all traffic cuts off, as I-710 comes to a dead end at Valley Boulevard a mile away.
In Pasadena is a short section of State Route 710, which was once part of the 710 freeway, but is now more of a glorified exit from Interstate 210. This is a missing link of approximately 6.5 kilometers between Pasadena and Alhambra. The corridor has now been completely built up. Via a complex interchange, the 710 terminates at the Ventura Freeway and I-210, the Foothill Freeway.
The route had already been established in 1933 between Long Beach and Monterey Park, and had been extended to Pasadena in 1947. The highway was constructed from 1953 to 1965, in order to replace the old route over the underlying road network. The I-710 was opened mainly in the second half of the 1950s. The short stretch in Pasadena was completed in 1975, along with the adjacent portions of I-210 and SR-134.
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|223rd Street||Atlantic Avenue||7 km||29-10-1954|
|Washington Blvd||I-5||1 km||16-04-1956|
|Firestone Blvd||Florence Avenue||2 km||14-11-1957|
|Ocean Blvd||233rd Street||6 km||10-07-1958|
|Atlantic Avenue||Firestone Blvd||8 km||10-07-1958|
|Florence Avenue||Washington Blvd||4 km||10-07-1958|
There has been talk of extending I-710 to Interstate 210 in Pasadena since the 1950s. The missing link is more than 7 kilometers long. A problem in the region is that there is no good connection from I-210 to I-710, I-110 and Downtown Los Angeles. State Route 110 (Arroyo Seco Parkway) also does not connect to I-210 in Pasadena, so traffic is permanently diverted via State Route 2 through Glendale, which is not designed for this.
An option to build the freeway at ground level expired in October 2013, when the California governor signed a bill to sell 600 Caltrans-owned homes on the route, making ground-level construction out of the question. A tunnel option was still under consideration, but the estimated cost of $3 billion was deemed too high. On November 28, 2018, it was decided not to continue the extension of I-710.
In Long Beach, the Gerald Desmond Bridge spans a canal from the harbor area. This was originally a steel arch bridge with truss construction with a vertical clearance of 47 meters. Because this was too small for modern ships, the bridge was replaced between 2013 and 2020 by a larger cable-stayed bridge, which was opened to traffic on October 5, 2020.
The enormous growth of freight traffic coming from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the shunting yards inland caused major damage to the road surface. Nearly 50,000 trucks a day drive on the busiest segments. The highway was not designed to handle so much freight traffic. The air pollution along this road is also high, due to the enormous amount of trucks in traffic jams during large parts of the day.
Because of this, the government wanted to expand Interstate 710, between I-405 and State Route 60. This was to include truck lanes, elevated HOV lanes and 2×5 lanes for other traffic, so that 7 to 9 lanes in each direction would be available. Planning was halted in 2021, although the project was not immediately scrapped. In May 2022 it was decided to cancel the project.
See also Los Angeles HOV system.
I-710 is the only Interstate Highway in Greater Los Angeles that does not have HOV lanes. As a result, I-710 is also one of the few major highways that still has 2×4, instead of 2×5 lanes. This is probably because I-710 was built in the 1950’s without left hard shoulder lanes, as those along many other highways have been converted to HOV lanes. However, HOV lanes are planned along I-710.
|Exit 1||Long Beach||51,000||56,000||58,000|
|Exit 4||Long Beach ( I-405 )||165,000||164,000||186,000|
|exit 8||Long Beach ( SR-91 )||194,000||192,000||233,000|
|Exit 11||South Gate ( I-105 )||232,000||232,000||241,000|
|Exit 18||East Los Angeles ( I-5 )||223,000||208,000||216,000|
|Exit 20||East Los Angeles ( SR-60 )||199,000||189,000||192,000|
|Exit 22||Monterey Park ( I-10 )||130,000||127,000||127,000|