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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A government report says construction of a new Veterans Affairs hospital in New Orleans is $370 million over budget and 14 months behind schedule.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/10cNMSC ) that the hospital was initially expected to cost $625 million and be completed by December 2014.

But a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office says the project's price tag has risen to $995 million and isn't slated to be finished until February 2016.

Hurricane Katrina has been cited as a major factor in the delays and cost hikes.

After the 2005 storm, the Veterans Affairs Department shelved plans to build a shared hospital with LSU's new University Medical Center. Instead, the VA decided to operate its hospital as a stand-alone facility.


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