Preliminary work being done on new Niagara Falls hospital site

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While construction on a new south Niagara hospital is not expected to start for another three years, work is being done to prepare the Niagara Falls site for development.

Niagara Health announced it recently underwent a successful natural heritage assessment on the property, to be built on a 20-hectare site near Montrose and Biggar roads in rural Niagara Falls.

Twelve hectares of that land was donated for hospital use by the former owner several years ago. In 2017, the city paid $11 million to acquire the additional land.

"The assessment allows for the approval of renewable energy development on the site by the Ontario government," said Angela Zangari, interim president of Niagara Health, in an email statement to The Niagara Falls Review Tuesday.

She said Niagara Health is working with WSP, a professional service firm that provides technical expertise and strategic advice in the area of property and buildings, environment, resources and energy.

"WSP will be on the south Niagara hospital site this week constructing boreholes as part of a geotechnical and hydrogeological study of the site. The boreholes will provide insight into the water, gases and temperature measurement on the site or any underground storage of unwanted substances."

Zangari said Niagara Health is excited to see work happening at the site, which is "another sign of how we are moving forward with our planning."

"We are also very thankful to the provincial government for the recent announcement by Infrastructure Ontario confirming the project. The new hospital represents a significant investment in health care in Niagara and will be an important part of a connected health-care system that will enhance the patient and care-giver experience and strengthen access to local services. We look forward to our ongoing work with the Ministry of Health to plan the next stage, and our continued engagement with the community throughout the planning process."

In an interview last month, Zangari said construction is anticipated to start in late 2022, with the hospital completed in 2026.

The long-touted hospital passed another hurdle in the planning process last month with the provincial government's announcement that the project is in pre-procurement. Infrastructure Ontario said it will start seeking potential builders in spring 2021 and award the contract in 2022.