Extra access road planned for new hospital

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2000

A slump in highway construction across the state has translated into a fourth access road at the site of the hospital being built on U.S. 61 North.

After awarding a bid on Sept. 8 to build three access roads to the River Region campus, Warren County supervisors were left with more than $1 million from the Economic Development Highway Program grant used to fund the project. Monday, supervisors authorized Gouras Urban Planning Consultants to prepare an amended grant application to the state to build an access road from Culkin Road to the land where the hospital is under construction.

“It will give us back access into our facility, which will be good for everyone,” said Dr. Briggs Hopson, medical director and member of the board of directors of River Region Medical Corp.

The $3.1 million contract awarded to Tanner Construction Co. Inc. of Ellisville to construct the access roads was the lowest of eight received by the county. The project includes a ring road that will wrap the hospital campus and connect the highway north and south of Sherman Avenue. A third road will be lined up with Sherman Avenue, and a traffic light will be installed.

Land is being cleared along U.S. 61 for the road work that is expected to begin next month. The project is expected to be complete in May.

The state awarded a $4.4 million grant to fund the project, leaving the county $1.3 million unused.

“Due to the nature of road construction in Mississippi right now, we got some wonderful bids,” said Jimmy Gouras.

Supervisors also postponed bids on a $900,000 project to connect the 432,000-square-foot facility with Culkin water and municipal sewer. Bids were supposed to be opened on Oct. 9 for the project, but the addition of another access road will mean that the project will have to be redesigned, Gouras said.

A Community Development Block Grant from the state will fund the project.

River Region, a part of Quorum Health Group Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn., began construction in January on the $112 million complex that will replace the 42-year-old ParkView Regional Medical Center on Grove Street when completed in May 2002.

The general contractor at the hospital site, Bovis Lend Lease of Nashville, began assembling the steel frame of the eight-story structure in July. The frame is expected to be complete by mid-December.

In other matters the board:

Approved a new polling place at the International Paper Conference and Training Center on Mississippi 3. The new precinct will replace the 3-61 precinct in that area. The precinct serves 261 registered voters living along Mississippi 3.

Approved the delinquent personnel property tax list for fiscal 2000.

Authorized advertising for the construction of the new LeTourneau boat ramp and the erosion project on Newit Vick Drive.

Approved a new private road name, Lard Hynum Drive, at 694 Kirkland Road and new addresses and sign changes on Heather Drive and Heather Place.

Approved $23,000 in funding for the maintenance of Riverfront Park.

Approved a utility permit for the Fisher Ferry Water District at Halls Ferry and Fonsylvania roads.

Approved the board minutes and the claims docket for September.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors will meet again at 10 a.m. Monday.