Despite funding worries, ground has been broken on a $1.2 billion hospital in the heart of New Orleans to replace one shuttered by Hurricane Katrina flooding.
The groundbreaking was held on Monday in a parking lot where part of the hospital will be built. It will serve as a teaching hospital for medical students and a primary health center for the New Orleans region.
The ceremony was overshadowed by questions over whether the state had the funding to build the mammoth project to replace Charity public hospital. Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter also raised new opposition that the expansion was too costly.
Residents have pushed for Charity to reopen, but officials refuse.