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Hospital for New Orleans East Underway

The community has been crying out for a full-service hospital in New Orleans east for years and it looks like it is finally happening.
New Orleans -- The community has been crying out for a full-service hospital in New Orleans east for years and it looks like it is finally happening.

It's crunch time for hundreds of construction workers at New Orleans East Hospital.

"It is critical that this hospital get open on time, on budget and on schedule," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

In 2010, the city purchased the old Methodist hospital for $16 million. It's located in the 5600 block of Read Boulevard; crews broke ground at the site a year ago.

The 80 bed, $130 million hospital is two-thirds of the way done. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of May.

It can't come soon enough for the 126,000 residents in the Ninth Ward, Gentilly and New Orleans East who have gone without a full-service hospital since Hurricane Katrina.

"This hospital gives my family a sense of security when we go to bed at night, when we get up in the morning. That we know we have good competent medical care close by," New Orleans Councilman James Gray.

City leaders say the hospital will be an anchor for even more development in the area in terms of healthcare facilities and retail centers; and that translates into jobs.
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