710 freeway extension

Supporters of the 710 Freeway extension carry balloons during the City of Alhambra "710 Day" celebration on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Los Angeles County transportation officials announced Friday that the draft Environmental Impact Report for the 710 Freeway extension project is now anticipated for a February 2015 release. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / July 10, 2013)

Los Angeles County transportation officials announced last week that the draft Environmental Impact Report for the 710 Freeway extension project is now anticipated for a February 2015 release.

News of the delay comes on the heels of an announcement made late last month, that the study would likely be held up until summer to allow the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to more fully analyze crucial population statistics.

Metro also announced that once the release occurred, community stakeholders would have 90 days to respond to findings. By law, Caltrans is required to allow a response window of only 45 days.

“Metro and Caltrans want to give the public ample opportunity to study and comment on the series of complex documents for addressing traffic and environmental impacts…generated by a 4.5-mile gap in the original freeway design that exists between Alhambra and Pasadena,” Metro stated in the May 2 release.

La Cañada city officials are preparing to act once the public comment window opens. The city in December formed the 5 Cities Alliance, a cost- and data-sharing collaboration with Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Sierra Madre to maximize its response.

On Monday, City Manager Mark Alexander told the City Council the group had selected experts to respond to the EIR but had not yet awarded contracts.

“The Alliance will be regrouping to see what our next steps will be,” he said.

--Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com

Follow on Twitter: @SaraCardine.

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