Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't watch a lot of sports, but he caught the Super Bowl last night and offered an assessment of how the San Francisco 49ers played.

"Sure they screwed up," Brown said on the Bay Area's KPIX-TV. "But they came back, and that, that kind of energy and intestinal fortitude and guts and imagination, they still demonstrated. It was close. It's exciting. I mean, more than that you really can't ask for."

The 49ers allowed the Baltimore Ravens to take a 22-point lead before mounting a comeback that fell just short. San Francisco lost 34-31.

The Democratic governor was interviewed on "A Super Night on the New Bay Bridge" a post-Super Bowl program in which the CBS affiliate celebrated the upcoming opening of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The $6.4 billion project is scheduled to open in September, and Brown - live on location - pressed a button starting a clock counting down to the opening.

"It's a pretty darn good looking freeway, now that I look at it," Brown said.

Brown, who is seeking to start construction of a $68 billion high-speed rail project and to build two water-diverting tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, said California is in a "building mood."

"When you build things they last," he said. "People come and go, but the bridges and the roads and the tracks, they stay for a long time."

Brown said a large celebration is in order when the new Bay Bridge opens.

"We're going to have a bicycle race, we're going to have running, we're going to have walking," he said.

The Brown administration in December canceled a public relations contract for the Bay Bridge project that included money to conduct bridge tours and to produce a video and commemorative book. The administration said it didn't know about the contract until The Bee requested records related to it, and it called the cost excessive.

An ongoing Bee investigation has raised questions about the new bridge's structural integrity.


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