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Oct 09
Road changes begin as maternal and children’s hospital construction gets underway

Two weeks after children, teenagers and families marked the official start of Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan, construction crews have installed 10% of approximately 300 drilled and poured concrete piles for the foundation of the future hospital building. Work will also begin in the next week to make needed temporary roadway changes to support the initial phase of construction.

"The upper floors of Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan will extend above the current area of the entrance roadways into the parkade. This means we will eventually have to take over a part of that roadway area on Hospital Drive and redirect traffic," explains Craig Ayers, Saskatoon Health Region's project director for Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. "We want the public, along with our staff and physicians, to be aware that there will be changes to the site and its roads as construction evolves over the coming months and years."

The first phase of road work will begin immediately with crews removing portions of the meridians on Hospital Drive. In order to have the flexibility to change traffic entrance routes when required later this fall, Saskatoon Health Region is removing the meridians now to allow paving to occur before asphalt plants close for the winter. After CHS construction is completed in 2017, these meridians will be put back in place. No trees will be removed during this process.

By December, it is expected vehicle routes will be slightly redirected as crews take over the portion of the existing entrance roadway where the piling needs to be installed for the new hospital. More changes will occur next summer.

By the end of CHS construction, the roadways into the site's parkade will look much different than they do today. New roads will allow for vehicles to drive up to and drop off at the new adult and pediatric emergency department. Patients and families will enter the parkade on the top level where they will find the front entrance to both Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan and Royal University Hospital.

"We know this will be disruptive and we will do what we can to minimize the disruptions. We want to thank everyone coming to the site for their continued patience and understanding," says Ayers.

The piling work is expected to take about five months with the main building construction to follow in early 2015. Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan is currently expected to open in 2017.

For more information on the new hospital, including videos that show the hospital and its final roads, visit the hospital's website at www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/chs.

(See backgrounder for more information on meridian removal.)

For pictures of the construction activity, click here.

For video of the media availability with CHS Project Director Craig Ayers, click here.

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