Fort Worth broke ground Wednesday on the long-planned $12 million Hemphill-Lamar Connector, an underpass that will connect downtown to the Near Southside between Taylor Street and Vickery Boulevard.

The project, expected to be completed in 2016, includes a roadway and pedestrian tunnel beneath Interstate 30 and a new rail bridge to support four existing Union Pacific Railroad lines.

The pedestrian tunnel will include wide sidewalks, bike lanes, drainage improvements, irrigation and landscaping.

Plans call for a four-lane major arterial street comprising 12-foot lanes, retaining walls, streetlights and traffic signals.

McCarthy Building Co. is construction manager on the project.

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