Major projects underway at Alpena | News, Sports, Jobs
ALPENA – Almost $ 100 million of development and infrastructure projects in Alpena continue to move forward.
Construction crews are working hard to complete construction projects underway at Mid-Michigan Medical Center-Alpena, Alpena Community College, and on the Bagley Street Bridge.
Hiccups can accompany large projects, but so far major problems have been avoided.
MIDMICHIGAN-ALPENA MEDICAL CENTER
The largest of the projects is the expansion of MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena. A new patient tower is being built, at a cost of $ 63.5 million.
The tower will house 60 new private patient rooms, including eight intensive care unit beds, eight labor and delivery rooms and 44 medical / surgical / telemetry beds. The new tower will also include 19 preparation and recovery rooms, flexible rooms, as well as five new operating rooms. When completed, many areas of the existing medical center will be renovated.
In a press release, hospital president Chuck Sherwin said the project, which is expected to be completed next spring, is on schedule and on budget. Since the start of work in July 2020, the external part of the project is almost complete and internal work is intensifying towards a large opening.
Sherwin said construction is going well, but is having an impact on the original part of the hospital and on staff, patients and visitors.
“We’re all very happy to see the progress of the new patient tower take shape, but with all the big plans there are also growing challenges,” Sherwin said in the press release. “At the moment, the ceiling work is impacting our gift shop and our check-in area has been relocated to accommodate changes to our existing lobby. As a result, foot traffic for patients, visitors and staff is diverted. Although this is only a temporary disruption, these renovations are all underway to make way for our beautiful patient tower which will open in a few months.
BAGLEY STREET BRIDGE
Another project that residents want to see completed is the reconstruction of the Bagley Street Bridge. Construction began in February and it is expected that traffic can resume using it on November 14 with the final completion of the bridge slated for December 20.
The cost of the project is in the order of $ 10.3 million and will completely redevelop the old bridge, which was built in the 1970s.
The bridge will widen from 37 feet to 79 feet, allowing for smoother traffic. On one side of the bridge there will be a 14 foot wide shared use sidewalk. A pedestrian sidewalk on the opposite side will be eight feet wide.
There will also be a trio of withdrawals where people can gaze over the bridge and take in the scenery of the Thunder Bay River.
Funding for the project came from state and federal grants, as well as necessary matching money from the roads commission.
Alpena County Roads Commission general manager Ryan Brege said the project was moving forward every day. Brege said contractors are able to work on multiple things at once, however, when a problem arises it usually doesn’t stall the project too much.
“We are going with a bang,” he said. “Contractors are now starting to work on the bridge deck. With a project like this, there is no real predictor when things are completely done, but at the moment we are on schedule. “
VAN LARE ROOM
The renovation and redesign of the Van Lare room at Alpena Community College began in the fall of 2019 and is already in use. College president Don MacMaster said there were only a few cosmetic tasks to be done outside and then the $ 8.7 million job was done.
MacMaster said students in the nursing program were in class at the new facility and staff and administrators were moving in as well.
Along with the addition of the new nursing center, the renovation plan includes updates to existing toilets, fire extinguishing and HVAC systems, including high efficiency hot water boilers and air conditioning.
The exterior concrete masonry will receive a new permeable stain to enhance the visual appeal of the building. Entrance doors will also be replaced with energy efficient units, including new hardware and security management devices.
The renovated Van Lare Pavilion will include the addition of 2,188 square feet of student and community space overlooking the Thunder Bay River. This space will accommodate around 125 people and will accommodate students looking for a comfortable place to study, as well as a space equipped with technology for meetings or presentations in small groups. The renovated building will also house seven multi-purpose classrooms, a new admissions office and administrative offices.
“With the exception of a few exterior finishes, the Alpena Community College’s $ 8.7 million Van Lare renovation project is complete and open for business,” said MacMaster. “We are thrilled with the final product and look forward to showing it off to the community at an upcoming open house on October 9th.”