Merced bridge project on Highway 99 complete

A $35 million bridge replacement on Highway 99 is done, according to the California Department of Transportation.

The Caltrans project on the west Merced bridge near 16th Street replaced the outdated bridge and retrofitted two other bridges, according to a news release.

On average, 50,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, many of them trucks loaded with agricultural products, the release said. Caltrans leveled the incline of the new structure, the release stated, to increase visibility and make for a safer commute.

Caltrans retrofitted two Bear Creek bridges on Highway 99 to make them more likely to withstand an earthquake, according to the release.

“This project is a great example of how federal dollars are being used to invest in critical transportation infrastructure,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in the release.

The project received $29 million in funding from the Recovery Act. Since 2009, California has put about $2.5 billion into nearly 1,000 projects in the state.