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Video: Gov. Schwarzenegger announces $46.7 million in federal stimulus money to rebuild highway bridges in Merced

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday touted dozens of highway projects set to be built with federal economic stimulus money, including the replacement of two sets of bridges that cross Bear Creek and 16th Street

"In the end it's not just about rebuilding California," Schwarzenegger said, "it's about creating jobs."

As semi-trucks whizzed across the bridges behind the governor, he asserted that the $46.7 million project will create more than 800 jobs.Caltrans crews are set to begin work in August and will widen the the bridges from four lanes to six lanes.

Caltrans is spending $625 million on 57 highway projects as part of the first wave of the economic stimulus money. Merced is among the top recipients, only topped by Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, which will see $125 million and $50 million, respectively.The U.S. Department of Transportation approved California’s slate of projects this morning.

The state estimates it will receive about $2.57 billion for infrastructure projects through the federal stimulus package.Schwarzenegger is set to introduce President Barack Obama at a Southern California event Thursday and will meet with him at the White House to discuss the state’s high-speed rail project and other infrastructure goals.

Reporter Scott Jason can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or

Schwarzenegger announces federal funding for highway bridges

Merced Mayor Ellie Wooten reacts to Schwarzenegger's announcement.