CHATTANOOGA (AP) - A Chattanooga hospital is expected to break ground this spring on a $380 million expansion project that has been stalled for two years because of a rough economy.

The work on Memorial Hospital is the largest investment in health care construction that Hamilton County has seen.

The project, first announced in 2006 with a projected 2012 completion date and $329 million cost estimate, will proceed in a piecemeal fashion, with each phase requiring approval from Catholic Health Initiatives, Memorial's parent company, hospital leaders said.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the project is expected eventually to add 500 jobs at Memorial and position the hospital to capitalize on growth in the eastern part of Hamilton County.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

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