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      Grand opening for first federal stimulus project

      TUSCUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- State officials have planned a grand opening for a mid-Missouri bridge that was the first construction project in the nation begun with federal stimulus funds.

      The event is scheduled for Monday morning in Tuscumbia.

      Crews began work on the bridge on Feb. 17, 2009, just minutes after President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package into law.

      The bridge carries traffic on Missouri 17 over the Osage River about 30 miles southwest of Jefferson City. It replaces a bridge that was nearly 80 years old.

      The Missouri Department of Transportation said Monday's ribbon-cutting was to be followed by a celebration organized by citizens of Tuscumbia and Miller County.

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