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Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and city of Irvine officials on Monday marked the opening of the Sand Canyon undercrossing in Southern California.The $64 million project is among eight grade separations OCTA is advancing as part of its O.C. Bridges program. The Irvine project is unique because it's the only grade separation to be built in southern Orange County, OCTA officials said in a press release. The other bridges and underpasses are being constructed in Anaheim, Placentia and Fullerton.Construction on the Irvine grade separation began in mid-2011. Sand Canyon Avenue now stretches underneath the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor, enabling motorists to travel more safely and efficiently by avoiding conflicts with the busy rail line, OCTA officials said. The 351-mile LOSSAN corridor is used by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink and COASTER passenger-rail trains. Construction on the final three projects in the $630 million O.C. Bridges program began in May and are slated for completion by 2018. Each project is designed to enhance safety and improve commute times by eliminating busy grade crossings.
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