LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than a decade after the project was first announced, officials broke ground on the site of the new, modern medical center for veterans in Louisville.
A ceremony was held at the construction site on Brownsboro Rd. near the Watterson Expressway on Veterans Day. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Rep. John Yarmuth and Sen. Mitch McConnell were in attendance.
The Louisville VA Medical Center, an $840 million project, will include a full-service hospital with 104 beds dedicated to serving local veterans. The new facility will replace the Robley Rex VA Medical Center on Zorn Avenue, allowing for better service and care.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the new hospital will also have a dedicated women's health clinic with four Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT).
"While no government program can fully repay the great debt we owe, by breaking ground on this project today, we're taking a meaningful step toward fulfilling our sacred obligation to our nation's heroes," Sen. McConnell said.
Rep. Yarmuth noted that the VA announced the project in 2006 - when he was running for his first term in Congress.
PHOTOS | Peek at future Louisville VA Medical Center
When the construction date was announced, neighbors expressed concern over the project, specifically related to the potential traffic impacts.
"I don't know that any of the minds have ever been eased or will be eased, because it’s very tight and dense in that particular area," said District 7 Metro Councilmember Paula McCraney.
At Thursday's groundbreaking, Gov. Beshear said the "inconvenience" drivers may face due to traffic pales in comparison to the sacrifices made by the veterans the hospital will serve.
Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed by 2026.