BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois review board has approved a plan to build a new hospital in Rockford.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal from Rockford-based MercyRockford Health System. The review board met Tuesday in Bolingbrook.

MercyRockford plans to build a 188-bed hospital near an Interstate 90 exit. The Rockford Register Star reports construction of the $407 million project is expected to start late next year.

Under the plan, the existing Rockford Memorial Hospital would still offer care, including an emergency department. However, it would have fewer state-licensed hospital beds than it does now.

The plan had some opposition, including from Rockford Alderman Venita Hervey, who worries about services being gutted at Rockford Memorial.

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