1 of 5
Brennan Linsley, Associated Press
Members of a construction crew work at the site of the new Veterans Administration hospital complex, in Aurora, Colo., Thursday May 21, 2015. The Veterans Affairs Department averted a costly construction shutdown at its half-finished hospital outside Denver on Thursday, but it still has to persuade an angry Congress to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars more to complete the bungled project.

DENVER — Construction crews are returning to work at the veterans hospital outside Denver after a last-minute deal with congressional leaders avoided a shutdown of the half-finished project.

But the really heavy lifting will be done 1,500 miles away in Washington.

The U.S. House agreed Thursday to raise the project's spending cap by $100 million, enough to continue work for three weeks. The Senate is expected to act Friday.

Congress and the Veterans Affairs Department still have to find up to $830 million to finish the vastly over-budget hospital and possibly scale it back.

The VA also must persuade skeptical lawmakers that it's serious about punishing those responsible for the problems and making internal changes to avoid a repeat.

The hospital is expected to cost $1.73 billion, almost three times the amount the VA estimated last year.