COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Kootenai Health has begun the final stage of their hospital expansion project.

The construction work for the third and final phase of the hospital's expansion project started Thursday.

A hospital spokesperson said back in 2012 Kootenai Health decided to put more than $100 million toward expanding the hospital. Administrators looked to address the growing population and need for more services in the area.

The first phase of the project was the east wing and its first floor. These areas include the family birth center, orthopedics and neurosurgery.

The second phase included more operating rooms and expanding the emergency department to be able to handle more patients. According to the hospital’s website, Kootenai Health has one of the busiest emergency departments in the state. The larger emergency department is designed to serve 55,000 to 57,000 patients each year.

The third phase of the expansion will mean about 30 new patient rooms on the third floor of the new wing.

“It's a nice opportunity for our medical community to be able to provide the full scope of care that patients here need and have room for them. The hope is to be able to give more people better care closer to where they live,” Communications Director Kim Anderson said.

The expansion project is expected to be completed by late 2019.