Roads around Royal University Hospital (RUH) will be changing soon as the construction of the new maternal and children’s hospital gets underway.

“The upper floors of Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan will extend above the current area of the entrance roadways into the parkade. This means we will eventually have to take over a part of that roadway area on Hospital Drive and redirect traffic,” explains Craig Ayers, Saskatoon Health Region’s project director for Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. “We want the public, along with our staff and physicians, to be aware that there will be changes to the site and its roads as construction evolves over the coming months and years.”

Two weeks after children, teenagers and families broke ground on the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan, construction crews had installed 10% of approximately 300 drilled and poured concrete piles for the foundation of the future hospital building. And work will begin this month to make temporary roadway changes needed to support the first phase of construction, and more changes will be coming in the near future.

A machine digs piles at the site of Saskatchewan's new maternal and children's hospital

About 10% of the 300 concrete piles needed for the new children and maternal hospital have been drilled so far. The piling work is expected to be completed by early 2015, and will be followed by the main building construction.

The first phase of road work will see crews removing portions of the meridians on Hospital Drive. This will allow Saskatoon Health Region some flexibility when it comes to traffic entrance routes to the hospital later this fall. The treed portions of the meridians will stay where they are, and the removed portions will be put back in place once construction of the hospital is complete in 2017.

A map indicates which meridians will be temporarily removed.

This map shows which portions of the meridians will be temporarily removed along Hospital Drive to allow for the construction of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

If all goes as planned, by December, vehicle routes will be slightly redirected – taking advantage of the removed portions of the meridians – as crews install pilings for the new hospital on the existing entrance roadway. More changes are planned to the roadways next summer.

By the end of CHS construction, the roadways into the site’s parkade will be much different than they are today. New roads will allow for vehicles to drive up to and drop off at the new adult and pediatric emergency department. Patients and families will enter the parkade on the top level, where they will find the front entrance to both Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan and Royal University Hospital.

“We know the construction will be disruptive and we will do what we can to minimize the disruptions. We want to thank everyone coming to the site for their continued patience and understanding,” says Ayers.

The piling work is expected to take about five months, with main building construction to begin in early 2015. Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is currently expected to open in 2017.

For more information on the new hospital, including videos that show the hospital and its final roads, visit the hospital’s website at http://www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/chs.