Rockford Register Star: Construction on Pace for New Mercyhealth Hospital

The $505 million endeavor is Rockford’s largest construction project ever

ROCKFORD — A wetter than normal spring and early summer robbed workers of 23 construction days at the developing Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center, but the project is back on pace for the hospital to be completed in time to receive its first patient by January 2019, said Javon Bea, Mercyhealth president and CEO.

Bea, accompanied by Joe Krueger of Mortenson Construction and AECOM Architecture Project Captain James Warne, led the media today on a hard hat tour of the hospital site at East Riverside Boulevard and Interstate 90.

The new medical campus is located about 9 miles east of Mercyhealth’s Rockton Avenue hospital campus, formerly Rockford Memorial Hospital.

Before leading the contingent inside the massive steel, glass and stone structure, Bea said the Rockton Avenue hospital will continue to offer emergency care, surgical services, outpatient behavioral health services and a cancer clinic.

“It really is taking what Rockford Memorial was and dividing it into two campuses,” he said, “but allowing us to do the latest technology with a higher intensive care.

Bea said the Riverside campus will feature a state-of-the-art women’s and children’s hospital, including the highest level perinatal and neonatal intensive care units and pediatric emergency services, as well as high-risk maternity care.

The campus also will provide the region with the highest level trauma center; an adult sub-specialty hospital to include plastic surgery, as well as brain and spine, endocrinology, orthopedics, pulmonology and heart services; operating suites and surgical services; a diagnostic center and physician-care clinics to serve adult and pediatric patients.

However, the Rockton campus will still have more doctors on hand.

“So the bulk of the doctors to where people will go will still be at Rockton Avenue,” Bea said.

Ground was broken for the $485 million project, the largest in Rockford’s history, on June 6, 2016.

While the 188-bed hospital is sprawling, Warne said it was designed with room to add another bed tower to the north.

“The need for operating rooms is only going to go up as our Baby Boomer generation ages,” he said.

Chris Green: 815-987-1241; cgreen@rrstar.com@chrisfgreen

To see more photos of the new hospital site, CLICK HERE.

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