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We are writing to provide you with the latest information about our hospital addition construction project.

Activities for the Week of April 14
Drilling and installation of 80- to 85-foot steel piles will continue at the construction site, along the west edge of Boren Avenue between Spring and Seneca streets. Through most of the week, we will be hauling out demolition debris, increasing truck traffic in and out of the site during normal construction hours. We expect drilling activity to last into May. Once the drilling gets far enough ahead, excavation work will begin and last into August.

This week, we will be installing the large electrical vault immediately in front of the John Winthrop Apartments. The crane for this work arrived April 10 and will be parked on the north side of Seneca until after the vault is set on Tuesday, April 15; then it will move to set another vault on Spring, within the area that is presently closed.

Work continues on the existing hospital buildings to reroute exiting and prepare the structures for constructing a new building within inches.

Weekend Work
No work is planned for the weekend of April 12 and 13.

Sidewalk and Street Closures for the Week of April 14

  • Spring Street - The street and north sidewalk on Spring between Boren and Terry avenues will remain closed. The median in Boren has been removed and will be replaced at the end of the construction project in 2010. To ensure pedestrian safety, the south sidewalk on Spring will remain open.

  • Boren Avenue - This week, one to two lanes of traffic and the west sidewalk on Boren between Spring and Seneca will be closed during normal construction hours. We have stationed three to four traffic-control people around the site to help direct traffic and ensure pedestrian safety. During these hours, the lanes will be channeled to allow at least one lane of travel in each direction. All lanes will be open after construction hours.

  • Seneca Street - The south sidewalk on Seneca between Boren and Terry will be closed throughout shoring and excavation. A pedestrian path will be maintained on the north side of Seneca at all times. To ensure pedestrian safety during the construction workday, a traffic-control person has been stationed at the Winthrop work site to help pedestrians follow the delineated path. Building access for Winthrop residents will be maintained at all times.

    The first four parking stalls immediately west of Boren on both sides of Seneca will continue to be closed to parking. One lane of traffic may be closed intermittently during this work, but the other will remain open to route bus and car traffic onto Boren. Additional parking spaces along the north, westbound lane of Seneca may need to be closed, including a Zone 21 Permit Parking Load/Unload area, to ensure the safety of the public and workers on the site.

Crane Safety
We wanted to provide you with information about the crane-safety measures that will be taken at our construction site. In August or September, we plan to erect a 240-foot construction crane at the site, which will be installed at full height and anchored within a very large and secure concrete slab. By installing the crane at full height from the beginning, it will not be "jumped" — or jacked up to raise its height — later on. Use of the jumping technique was a factor in crane accidents that were featured recently in the news.

The crane will be placed near the center of the site in a north-south configuration and approximately 15 feet from the existing hospital. The base will be 65 feet below Boren; the top of the crane will clear all surrounding buildings.

Virginia Mason is adamant about requiring the highest crane safety standards be enforced. General contractor Skanska will maintain a comprehensive safety management system that meets or exceeds existing guidelines for the site. Skanska ensures the stability and soundness of all its cranes by adhering to strict industry standards and engineering in setting up the cranes. Skanska has regular monthly inspections conducted by independent third-party crane specialists. It hires all of its crane operators from the operators union, which requires all of its crane operators to pass the OSHA-approved crane operators course. Further, Skanska evaluates site subcontractors' safety programs to ensure they are up to standard.

Once again, we thank you for your patience throughout this period and apologize for any inconvenience these activities may cause. As updated information becomes available, we will be sure to share it with you.

As always, for more information about the addition, including an animated video showing the new building's orientation on the site, please visit: VirginiaMason.org/construction.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the construction activities, please contact:

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