It’s one of the country’s main commercial corridors, linking the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to America’s consumer economy. But the 710 Freeway is a congested and creaky relic straining to keep up with modern expectations.
For more than two decades, Southern California transportation officials have pondered how to accommodate the roadway’s swelling truck and automobile traffic, and they’ve always come to the same conclusion: We need a bigger freeway.
But their plans always run into the same obstacles. A wider 710 Freeway would likely mean even worse pollution for neighboring communities — including those in Long Beach, Lynwood and Bell Gardens — that suffer some of the nation’s worst air quality. And it would require gobbling up surrounding homes and businesses from predominantly low-income, Latino residents.
Now the project faces another, potentially even greater, complication. Federal environmental…