New Robley Rex VA Center Rendering

A 2016 rendering of the proposed Robley Rex VA Medical Center that will be constructed in east Louisville. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's official: The money to build a new VA Medical Center in east Louisville is included in President Trump's 2020 budget request.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last week that Trump planned to fully fund the Robley Rex VA Medical Center in his 2020 budget request to Congress, but it wasn't official until the president released his budget Monday.

The 2020 budget now includes $481 million for the project. Of that, $410 million is slated for construction of the new hospital, while $71 million will go to the Army Corps to manage the project.

The plan for a new VA hospital started in 2006 but hasn't received full funding until now.

Now that the budget has been sent to Congress, lawmakers must approve the funding in the appropriations process. McConnell previously secured a total of $450 million for the project, including the initial $75 million in 2008. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has already bought 35 acres of farmland off Brownsboro Road near the I-71/I-264 interchange for the hospital, although McConnell has never endorsed a specific location.

VA Med Center Brownsboro Road site

The VA bought the 35-acre suburban site along the Watterson Expressway at the U.S. 42/Brownsboro Road exit in 2012 for $12.9 million from a company controlled by Louisville private equity investor Jonathan Blue.

Construction is expected to start sometime in 2020.

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