THEN AND NOW: Long Beach Freeway (I-710)


TOP: (original caption Dec. 8, 1952)
IN USE WEDNESDAY – This is the section of the Long Beach Freeway which will be opened Wednesday. This view is from the Willow St. overpass looking north on December 8, 1952. Officially known as the Long Beach Freeway, it runs 23 miles north from Long Beach to Alhambra following the course of the Los Angeles River for most of its route. The first section of the Long Beach Freeway opened in 1952; the last in 1970. Originally numbered CA 15, it was renumbered CA 7 in 1964 when work on began on Interstate 15. In September 1983 it was approved as an interstate, and In 1984 it was changed I-710.

BOTTOM: View of Interstate 710 (Long Beach Freeway) from the Willow St. overpass looking north on August 26, 2009. The growth of cargo trucks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has added an enormous amount of truck traffic to the Long Beach Freeway, since it is the most direct route between the port complex and the railyards in Vernon and East Los Angeles, as well as the Pomona and San Bernardino freeways. It has also become a major source of air pollution, emanating from diesel-fueled trucks idling in rush hour traffic congestion and giving cities along its route some of the worst air quality in Southern California.
Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have called for an expansion of the segment of the freeway between the San Diego (I-405) and Pomona (SR-60) Freeways. It would include dedicated truck lanes, elevated carpool lanes and up to 10 lanes for general traffic. By using existing right-of-way along the Los Angeles River.