by Enedina Perez

Freeway construction is under way in the neighboring cities of Upland and Rancho Cucamonga, and completion of Route 30 through La Verne is expected between the years 2000 and 2005.

Bowing to the pressure La Verne’s and Claremont’s City Councils, the freeway, which was first going to be built three feet above ground, as Cal Trans had initially wished, will now be placed below ground for some of its span through the two cities. The freeway will be at grade through the Live Oak Canyon spreading grounds.

Northern La Verne residents will see their neighborhoods permanently altered by the freeway. Construction will slice through an established La Verne residential area, causing 150 homes to be bought and demolished to make room for the roadway, according to Dr. Tom Harvey, La Verne City Councilman.

These are not the only houses that are going to be affected by this construction. Those home owners who sit adjacent to the freeway will probably see a loss in property value “because they’re not getting bought up,” he says. “They’ll be hurt the most because they’ll receive the dust and noise.”

This freeway construction passed environmental impact negotiation in early 1997. Off-ramps have been set for Baseline Road and Foothill Boulevard (existing), Fruit Street, Towne Avenue and Padua Avenue. Because the freeway already goes through San Dimas, the only cities that had to demonstrate their cooperation were La Verne and Claremont, says Dr. Harvey.

Dr. Harvey expects this freeway to develop a roller coaster effect in the long run. “Freeway driving is a diversion effect,” he says. He suspects people will begin to utilize the different conversions that the freeway will offer in the first five to six months after the construction is completed. He does not believe that Foothill Boulevard will become a ghost area like many assume.

Due to the six-year construction plan being completed in stages, Dr. Harvey sees the importance of keeping everything in order. He recalls that recently “a house was torn down, and a swimming pool was left wide open which could have caused somebody to be seriously injured.”

Dr. Harvey, who has lived in La Verne since 1972, sees the city as a “simple home town. It has very low crime rates, high residency rates and not much vacancy,” he says.

Compared to San Dimas, which he describes as a “western, commercial-oriented town because there is so much freeway access,” he views La Verne as a “quiet, nice town and a wonderful place to raise children. I love it,” he says.