Construction of the parking garage expansion is progressing nicely. As the weather begins to warm we will be noticing an increase in activity in the area of the old, ground-level helicopter landing pad.
Test holes have been bored for the placement of the caissons upon which the addition will rest. Caissons are the enormous pillars – columns of concrete that are three feet in diameter and ten feet deep – that rest upon the bedrock that ultimately supports the hospital and every other large structure in Frederick County. The test holes are drilled before the actual holes for the caissons to make sure that solid bedrock exists at a depth that will support the final structure.
Drilling the holes for the caissons is a labor intensive process, and given that more than 40 holes have to be drilled, the process is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete. After each hole is drilled it will be filled with concrete.
Besides a significant increase of construction traffic on the Seventh Street side of our campus, there will not be any additional disturbance to the neighborhood. A construction lane has been established on Emma Smith Drive to handle the volume of trucks, so no campus traffic congestion is anticipated.
The new traffic light at the intersection of Seventh Street and Emma Smith Drive is nearly ready to be placed into service.
The technical engineers are making some final adjustments to the automatic sensing devices and the traffic control engineers are synchronizing the new light with the existing light at Toll House Avenue so there are no traffic backups or delays. If all goes according to plan, the new light will be operational in May.