CALGARY -- Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced a "major new investment" in the Peter Lougheed Centre's emergency department Wednesday morning.

The hospital is slated to receive $137M in emergency room upgrades from the provincial government. The funding commitment for the project will be spread over three years. The upgrades are expected to be completed in 2024.

According to Kenney, approximately 80,000 patients visit the PLC emergency department each year. The space was originally designed to accommodate 40,000 patients annually.

Shandro says the number of emergency room beds at the PLC will increase from the current alotment of 35 beds to 49 beds by the end of the first phase of upgrades.

"Staff at Peter Lougheed hospital have been going full blast for many years, providing top-quality emergency care to twice as many patients as the space was designed to serve," said Shandro in a statement. "This project will give families in and around Calgary better access to life-saving emergency and mental health services."

The Peter Lougheed Centre opened its doors in 1988 and underwent a $227 million expansion in the fall of 2009.