Underground utilities work will affect road traffic at Grossmont Hospital

by Rick Griffin

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that owns the property and buildings at Sharp Grossmont Hospital on behalf of local taxpayers, has awarded a $7.4 million contract to Swinerton Builders of San Diego for underground utilities improvements at the regional hospital in La Mesa. The GHD board of directors recently unanimously approved the contract.

The construction work will affect automobile travel on a two-lane road located in the back of the hospital that connects the Women’s Center to Murray Drive. Until the underground utility work is completed sometime in early 2012, portions of the road near the Women’s Center will be closed to the general public with access available only to emergency and construction vehicles at various times. A parking lot nearby also will be closed resulting in some hospital employees parking their cars in other locations on the hospital campus.

The utilities work will include relocating gas and water lines, steam lines, medical gasses, electrical power and telecommunication lines. Plans call for more than 7,500 feet of utilities to be installed underground along a 700-foot portion of the road. The work will be scheduled in four phases in order to allow continuous emergency access at the hospital.

The work is among several infrastructure improvements and new construction projects underway at the regional medical facility that opened in 1952. GHD is financing the work with a $247 million general obligation bond that East County voters approved in 2006 as Proposition G. Prop. G-related construction activity is scheduled to continue until 2016.

GHD officials said the underground utility work is necessary to support a future two-story, 18,000-square-foot Central Energy Plant costing about $50 million and a new 20,000-square-foot, $60 million Heart and Vascular Center building to feature new surgery rooms and three new catheterization labs. Plans currently call for construction to begin in September of this year and end in May 2013 for the Central Energy Plant, and begin in May 2012 and end in July 2014 for the Heart and Vascular Center.