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Orange County Transportation Authority officials and leaders from the cities of Fullerton, Placentia and Anaheim, Calif., on May 9 held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the final three grade separations in the authority's O.C. Bridges program.Two underpasses and one overpass will be constructed at streets that intersect with a busy BNSF Railway Co. line. Up to 70 trains travel through the areas each day and daily rail traffic is projected to reach 130 trains by 2030.The three projects involve constructing:• a $112 million underpass on Raymond Avenue between Santa Fe and Ash by early 2018;• a $96 million overpass on Lakeview Avenue between Orchard Drive and Eisenhower Circle by late 2016; and• an $86 million underpass on State College Boulevard between Santa Fe and Valencia by early 2018.The $630 million O.C. Bridges program is designed to separate car and pedestrian traffic from the BNSF line, enhance safety and improve commute times by eliminating motorists' wait at grade crossings.Underpasses and bridges along the BNSF line also have been completed or are under construction as part of the program at Placentia Avenue, Kraemer Boulevard, Orangethorpe Avenue and Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive. Each of the projects are funded in part by Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax targeted for transportation improvements.
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