BRADENTON, Fla. — The Downtown Crossing component of the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project, a federally supported effort to improve links between Louisville, Ky., and Jeffersonville, Ind., is scheduled to break ground Tuesday.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez is expected to join Kentucky's Gov. Steve Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer for the dedication ceremony.

Kentucky will finance a portion of its project with $210 million of $236 million in grant anticipation revenue vehicle bonds, or Garvees, that may be sold as soon as next month. Toll revenue bonds will be issued later this year by the Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority.

The project consists of building a new Interstate 65 bridge, renovation of the existing Kennedy Bridge/I-65 through downtown Louisville, and reconstruction of interchanges in downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind.

Kentucky has selected Walsh Construction Co. as the contractor. Walsh bid $860 million to build the project, though the state's total cost will exceed $1 billion, including expenditures for land acquisition, utility relocation, preliminary design and consulting work, construction oversight, and toll system development.

The state is using traditional financing sources, which will include state and federal funds, toll bonds, and possibly a low-interest loan from the federal government.

Indiana is building the other half of the project called the East End Crossing, which consists of a new bridge between Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind., as well as highways that connect I-265 in both states.

In March, the Indiana Finance Authority reached financial close on a $702 million tax-exempt, private-activity bond transaction to finance the bulk of its project using a public-private partnership.

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