NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says construction is about to start on a $130 million hospital in eastern New Orleans, which has been without a hospital since Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 percent of the city in August 2005.

Morial, other city officials and Archbishop Gregory Aymond planned a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon at the site where Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital stood before the storm.

Landrieu said in October that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had paved the way for construction by agreeing to insure a $97.6 million loan for the hospital.

His office says the project will revitalize that area's economy while restoring full-service health care to residents in eastern New Orleans — an issue Landrieu has emphasized since taking office in May 2010.