Officials to celebrate groundbreaking in bridges project - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials to celebrate groundbreaking in bridges project

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Officials with the Ohio River Bridges Project will join the community in celebrating a day many thought would never come, though it all won't be finished until the end of 2016.

"People still say to me, I don't think I will see a bridge while I am living, it's like, well go look at it," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.  

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says they finally have an answer for nay-sayers concerning the more than $2.5 billion project:  "Anybody that's got any doubts, those will be put to rest," Beshear said.

Tuesday, the community is invited to a groundbreaking for the Downtown Crossing portion.  "The East End's already started, Downtown's already started, but tomorrow is going to be the big hullabaloo so the community will say, ok here we go," said Fischer.

Organizers say everyone will be involved in this "once in a lifetime" opportunity.  "We will have a huge sand pile with community shovels, about 500 shovels for the kids," said Mindy Peterson, a spokesperson for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

"They are actually going to dig in and help break ground for this bridge."  Peterson said kids will be able to find commemorative coins in a sand pile.  Four of those coins will be marked to win a remote control crane.

The mayor says Kentucky's financial responsibility, a more than $1.3 billion price tag for the Downtown Crossing, will be money well spent.

"It's going to be great for the jobs that are being built to construct the bridges and then opening up our local economy after that," Fischer said.

The state of Indiana will have to foot the $1.2 billion for the East End crossing.  "This is going to be a long process, there's going to be delays, there's going to be inconvenience," said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.  "At the same time, we have got to get this moving."

Officials said traffic concerns will be "water under the bridge" once it's said and done. 

"I love the fact that we have issues because we are growing as a community," said Fischer.  "…It's a small price to pay for decades of progress."

The groundbreaking event will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial Lot at Waterfront Park

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