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Steel frame complete and next phase to begin at Mercy Hospital - KOAM TV 7

Steel frame complete and next phase to begin at Mercy Hospital

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The steel frame is complete and now it's on to the next big phase in the construction of Joplin's Mercy Hospital.

Essentially, the hospital has a skeleton, and now it's time to add the skin.

For months people going by the site have seen the giant crane used to lift  the steel beams of the structure.

That site will soon see another big new equipment change that will help keep the project on schedule to complete the exterior by the end of this summer.

A new crane is arriving at the Mercy Hospital site this week in about 16 semis.  Mercy project director John Farnen says the new crane will dwarf the ones on site now and will be used to help haul 40,000 pound pre-cast panels as the hospital prepares to start on its exterior walls.

"We're having all concrete roofs so the roofs will be hardened so we don't have to worry about the roofs blowing off like they did in the old hospital," says Farnen.  "The brick and the stone will withstand any kinds of the elements that gets thrown at it in a storm."

Mercy says the finish date of March 2015 has bad weather days in mind, and that for the most part, this Winter has been kind for construction.

The hospital says it is right on schedule with the exterior and unveiling of a mock up wall to help test and verify materials.

"It's really to get a good feeling for the exterior, how all the different elements tie together, we don't have any issues with any air infiltration,or water or anything, and everything works," says Farnen.

In addition to building construction, Mercy's senior project manager Dan O'Connor says the end of the school year brings Phase 2 of road construction surrounding the hospital, which includes widening access roads to the hospital by 12 feet as well as add a new freeway entrance.  That construction means road closures.

"There's a safety factor, built in to the hospital, there will be obviously a lot more traffic than what's usually at Main and 50th, so we want to make it safer for everybody," says O'Connor.

O'Conner says residents can expect road closures on 50th Street starting on May 22 and that traffic will be re-routed through Connecticut.  But he says work on the new entrance ramp to the hospital should not slow down traffic on Interstate 44 and reader boards will be placed on the highway at both the Range Line Road and Main Street exits to help direct drivers.

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