Dubbo hospital redevelopment moves forward

THE LINK road on the grounds of Dubbo Base Hospital has been closed as trees are removed and demolition of landmark buildings draws near.

Diabetes and cancer patients are being directed to park on the western side of the hospital campus while a new link road is being built.

Trees are being removed from the existing link road that runs between the old nurses' quarters and the linen house, both to be knocked down.

Construction will begin in May 2013 on their replacements, a one-storey building connected by a courtyard to a two-storey building that together will better support maternity and surgical services.

The footprint of the new buildings, each with the capacity to support three storeys, is about 5000 square metres.

In October National Buildplan Group secured the contract for about $9 million of early works leading to the almost $80 million stage one and two redevelopment of the hospital.

This week the company laid the groundwork for its work across the next six months with contract administrator David O'Halloran pointing yesterday to the establishment of a "site compound" and the removal of trees along the existing link road and to the north of the public car park.

The early works include the three-stage extension of the public car park from 235 to 283 spaces, the construction of a new link road and the demolition of the two buildings, along with the chimney stack behind the linen house.

"The new link road will be built and finished in February," Mr O'Halloran said.

"We'll be starting on the car park on the 19th of this month with a bit of excavation work.

"We'll do it in sections. Hopefully we'll have section one finished at the end of February, which is the northern new part.

"Then we'll be blocking off the middle section, which is stage two, and hope to have that finished in March, and the remaining part at the end of March, start of April."

Mr O'Halloran said the demolition work would start in about three or four weeks.

"We will be doing it all at the same time but over four or five weeks," he said.

The contract administrator dismissed suggestions of a spectacular final moment for the infrastructure that's in the way.

"It's a case of taking our time," Mr O'Halloran said.

"We'll take the chimney stack down in sections using a crane."

Scaffolding will go up so the nurses' quarters can exit the scene gracefully.

"We'll take most of it down by hand, and then we will take some down by machine," Mr O'Halloran said.

Acting general manager of Dubbo Base Hospital Debbie Bickerton advised yesterday that tenders for the $79.8 million redevelopment would go out in January.

The NSW government has provided $72.7 million and the federal government $7.1 million for stage one and two redevelopment that will include the refurbishment of the main entrance and the renal dialysis unit.

Development approval of the state significant project is before the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

Images of the new buildings can be seen on screens attached to work site fences on the hospital grounds.

City and regional residents and patients should be walking through their doors by the end of 2014.

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