CONSTRUCTION on the $800,000 car park expansion at Bathurst Hospital officially commenced on Tuesday, with Member for Bathurst Paul Toole turning the first sod on the project.
Under the expansion project another 77 car parks will be built on the hospital campus, taking the number of parking spaces available on site from 283 to 360.
“It is clear more parking was needed at Bathurst Hospital, and I am very happy to be turning the sod on this exciting project today,” Mr Toole said.
“Bathurst’s population has grown since the new hospital was built in 2008 and more people then ever are being treated at Bathurst Hospital.
“The additional car parking will take the pressure off street parking which is currently subsidising on-site car parking on the site."
Mr Toole said enhancements in a range of services including orthopaedic, ambulatory care, renal and cancer services mean more people are being treated at Bathurst Base Hospital now then ever before.
He said the number of patients being treated in outpatients clinics at Bathurst Base Hospital has increased dramatically since the new hospital was first built, with a quadrupling of patients accessing specialist clinics in the last five years.
Mr Toole said the issue of car parking was raised with him last year, and since then he has identified an appropriate area to expand the car park, come up with a solution to the issue and successful sought $800,000 in funding from the State Government for the project.
Mr Toole said there will be no loss of car parking spaces during construction and no impact on public parking during the construction period.
“The project will include redesigning traffic movements on site so cars can enter and exit the car park more efficiently from Mitre Street,” he said.
The car park expansion is being undertaken by Hines Construction and is due to be completed by October 2018.
David Hines, CEO of Hines Constructions said while the weather may impact on the construction schedule he is confident the project will be completed on time.