Mar 2, 2012 6:28 AM by AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The first pilings are in the ground for the $1.1 billion hospital planned to replace Charity Hospital, which has sat empty since Hurricane Katrina.
Pile drivers began work Monday, Tom Rish, project manager for the state Office of Planning and Control, told the University Medical Center's board on Thursday.
That's a couple months later than he'd hoped, but he says construction should still be completed on schedule.
Rish says construction on the state hospital is going faster than on a $1 billion Veterans Administration hospital for which ground was broken in June 2010. He says the state project was delayed by moving a 133-year-old school building rather than tearing it down and working around a 230 kilovolt power line until Entergy moved it.