As Altru Health System gears up to break ground on a new hospital, it has unveiled plans to keep nearby community members updated throughout the three-year construction process.
On Jan. 10, Altru will host its first neighborhood meeting to share more details about the $305 million project and any construction-related disruptions.
The project isn’t expected to cause any major traffic disruptions, but the neighborhood near the hospital on Columbia Road will experience some noise, spokeswoman Sally Grosgebauer said in an email to the Herald.
“There will be some noise that the neighborhood experiences, but it will be mainly in the first few months of the project while we’re driving piles,” she said. “After that, the noise effects on the neighborhood will be minimal.”
Residents in areas immediately surrounding Altru will notice the noise the most, according to Grosgebauer. The affected area won’t change as the project progresses, she said.
The company is working with construction manager PCL Community to mitigate noise-related disruptions “whenever possible,” she said.
Altru notified residents living within a half-mile radius of its campus about the upcoming meeting. Altru CEO Brad Wehe estimated the company sent about 1,100 postcards advertising the meet-up.
“From the beginning of the project, we’ve been really determined to involve the community and the region,” Wehe said.
The Jan. 10 meeting follows a series of regional events, including public presentations in Devils Lake in North Dakota and Roseau and Warroad in Minnesota.
Altru officials don’t anticipate any public road closures, and all construction equipment will be on arterial roads away from neighborhood thoroughfares, according to Grosgebauer.
At the same time, Altru’s contractor has been coordinating truck routes for deliveries with the city.
“The city of Grand Forks has been involved in discussions from day one, and they are working with the contractor to ensure that truck routes are planned carefully,” Grosgebauer said.
City staff members have been meeting with Alru officials “at least once a month” over the past six months, said Ryan Brooks, deputy city planner.
At the Jan. 10 meeting, Altru execs also will discuss the projected start date for construction. In late 2018, the company told the Herald the groundbreaking would start in February, with construction slated to wrap up by 2022.
The new complex will be built north of Altru’s current more-than-40-year-old facility at 1200 S. Columbia Road.
Representatives from the design team at JLG Architects and the construction team at PCL Community also will be in attendance at the meeting. Wehe emphasized that the “interactive” meeting will include time for residents to ask questions.
Altru plans to host a slew of additional neighborhood meetings throughout the project.
“We don’t have a schedule for upcoming meetings yet, but we plan to schedule them in the near future,” said Grosgebauer. “In addition to the meetings, we will also be sending out regular print and digital communication to the neighbors to keep them as informed as possible.”