UPHS-Marquette: No concerns with new hospital parking structure

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UP Health System-Marquette says it hasn't "run into any problems that are out of the ordinary" while building a new $300 million hospital off Baraga Ave. near downtown Marquette.

Viewers contacted TV6 News this week and said hospital construction workers were told Tuesday afternoon that part of the new parking structure was sinking and they could not go on the structure until repairs were made. Skanska Closner is the contractor for the project.

Paul Knox, the Marquette County Building Official and Construction Codes Manager, says his office is at the site at least once a day. When TV6 asked about problems with the parking structure, Knox said a defective precast concrete panel has to be repaired.

UPHS-Marquette spokesperson Victor Harrington addressed that issue in an email to TV6.

"We do not have any concerns with the safety or construction of the parking structure," said Harrington. "The concrete panel you mentioned is external to the garage and is not part of the structure or foundation. We will be repairing this, which is customary, and should not cause any issues."

Harrington says UPHS-Marquette is "committed to ensuring the safety of our construction teams." He says about 325 workers are at the site on an average day.

Harrington says the hospital has worked very closely and the Brownfield Authority to remediate the polluted soil at the construction site, which is the 37-acre Roundhouse Property. Harrington says the hospital's teams have taken the necessary steps to ensure the soil's integrity.

Harrington added that the project is on track and going well, and anyone with a concern should share it with UPHS-Marquette. Harrington says there have been no lost-time accidents for construction workers at the site.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has no record of any complaint investigations performed at the UP Health System-Marquette construction site on Barage Ave., according to a MIOSHA spokesperson.

UPHS-Marquette broke ground on the 265-bed hospital in spring 2016 and expects completion on the 542,817 square-foot building in November 2018.

Skanska Closner did not respond to TV6's request for comment on this story as of 5:00 p.m. Friday.

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