Staff at Trinity Muscatine broke ground Monday on a major expansion and renovation.
The 18.5 million dollar expansion includes the emergency department, operating area, laboratory and radiology departments.
The project addressed concerns about space and technology in the facility. The ER was built in 1979 to handle about 3,500 patients. In 2011, about 15,000 patients were treated in the same space. That number is expected to continually go up.
Patients will notice shorter wait times in the ER and more privacy with their own rooms.
There will be 30-thousand square feet of new construction and 26,300 square feet of renovation work. Plans call for the project to be complete by 2013.