Congressman Dennis Cardoza said $500,000 in federal funds would be used to provide flood protection and prevention in Merced.
The funds will be used in engineering, environmental and preliminary designs to build a detention basin one mile north of the Fairfield Canal to reduce flood flows from Black Rascal Creek into Bear Creek.
"Environmental impacts have blocked progress on our efforts to control flooding in Merced along Black Rascal Creek in the past," Cardoza said. "I am extremely pleased to see this effort finally moving forward."
The project still needs millions more to implement, and Merced County will be the lead agency for it.
Substantial flooding along Bear Creek has occurred during recent years, most recently in 2006. The project is expected to substantially reduce, if not eliminate, flooding in the city, Cardoza said.
"We're excited to have the process moving along," said city spokesman Mike Conway. "Once the funding is in place, it will improve the safety and well-being of the citizens and residents of Merced."