Rain is forecast Tuesday when the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Madison-Milton bridge will take place next to Vaughn Drive on the south lawn of Riverboat Inn.

The ceremony, scheduled for 11 a.m., will be short because Gov. Mitch Daniels can attend for only 20 minutes, said Jenny Eggenspiller, the director of community outreach and development for the city. She is putting together the program.

Mayor Tim Armstrong will be the master of ceremonies.

Two adjoining large tents were in place at the Riverboat Inn this morning. A recent tea party rally was held at the same location recently in a driving rain, and was moved under the tents when the rain started.

After the ceremony, there will be an invitation-only lunch at the Livery Stable.

Groundbreakings are symbolic and usually involve dignitaries wearing hard hats and using ceremonial shovels to turn over spades of dirt.

Contractor Walsh Construction has already started pre-construction work by moving construction trailers to Jaycee Park and doing soil borings to see what is down there.

Early in the construction, coffer dams will be built in the river to divert the Ohio River around work areas where the existing piers will be enlarged for the wider bridge.

The bridge structure will be constructed on the Kentucky side of the river, then moved into place and pulled onto the piers.

The project will include new places for traffic to get onto and off the existing bridge while the pavement that will abut the new bridge is reconstructed to handle the wider bridge. The temporary on- and off-ramps to the existing bridge then will be extended to a temporary bridge that will be built downstream to the existing bridge. The temporary bridge will be used while the old steel superstructure is removed and the new bridge is installed.

Walsh expects that motorists will have to cross the river somewhere else for a total of 10 days, currently planned for two, five-day periods.

The new bridge is expected to open in the fall of 2012.