Developers say the funding is in place to build phase one of a replica of Noah's Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky off I-75.
President and CEO of Answers in Genesis (AIG) Ken Hamm, made the announcement last night during a webcast. Hamm says his recent debate with Bill Nye the Science Guy along with the media coverage of the soon to be released film "Noah" starring Russell Crowe have helped bring the Ark Encounter project attention.
The first phase of the project is estimated to cost $73-million. Darrell Link, Grant County Judge Executive who joined Hamm on the webcast says he sees the Ark Project as a Anchor store for the county.
"It is a project that is going to give our county instant identity when anyone thinks of Grant county they are going to think of Grant county and vice a versa," said Link.
Link said he hopes the project will bring jobs to his rural community. AIG's Mike Zorvath said construction will now move quickly.
"We've got a firm date for groundbreaking sometime in May of this year which is only a couple of months away and we fully expect to have a groundbreaking in the summer of 2016," said Zorvath.
Hamm says the goal is to raise an additional 15 million dollars in donations to provide more attractions and exhibits for the museum.