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Parking and access at the Tualatin hospital will be affected in the first phase of expansion.

COURTESY OF LEGACY HEALTH - A conceptual illustration shows how the ground floor of a patient tower planned at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center might look once it is completed.Within the coming weeks, the first phase of an expansion project that will transform the landscape of Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center's campus in east Tualatin is slated to begin in earnest.

Visitors and workers at the hospital will begin noticing some changes to traffic patterns and parking availability around the campus, according to Piseth Pich, a spokesman for Legacy Health. Already, there are signs of construction around the hospital, including fencing and a work trailer.

Tualatin plans examiner and building inspector Kevin Rex said the city expects to begin issuing project permits as soon as this week to allow the first phase of the project to go forward.

"Right now, the phase one part of the construction that's happening now is we're constructing temporary parking on the north end of campus, and then we'll be closing off some sections of the existing parking lot," Pich said.

He added, "It should have a very minimal impact on patients and visitors, but they're going to notice it."

All of this scheduled work is being done to pave the way for the construction of a four-story patient tower to the west of the hospital's main entrance, on land currently taken up by a large parking lot. Hospital officials have said the new building will improve workflow and provide a better patient experience, with more modern examination rooms and waiting areas.

"We're growing with the community, and we're doing this because we want to be able to provide state-of-the-art care," Pich said.

Construction is expected to temporarily displace the TriMet stop at the hospital for bus line 76. It will also require some access points to the ring road around campus to be blocked off.

"That'll definitely present some detours on campus. But, to that end, we'll have temporary signage being put up that's very clear and very visible," Pich said, adding, "You get kind of used to how you travel around campus, and so if there's changes, we want to make them obvious really quickly."

The general contractor on the first phase of the project is Andersen Construction. Legacy Health has not yet selected a general contractor for the building phase, according to Pich.

The patient tower is set to be completed by late 2019. It will be the first new building at Meridian Park since 2002, when Building 2 in the hospital's medical office plaza and a parking garage were constructed, Pich said.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times
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