LETHBRIDGE: It isn't completely finished, however, after 18-months of planning and construction, the Chinook Regional Hospital parkade opened Monday morning. It means parking capactiy has been increased by 400-parking stalls.
The new $30-million parkade has space for 810-vehicles and 203 more spaces available in perimeter parking. There are also 82-free stalls and designated handicapped parking to accommodate the roughly 30,000 visits made to the hospital every month.
There is still work to be done on the parkade. Elevators are in the process of being installed and should be operational in December. Individuals with mobility problems will be able to park on the main level of the parkade or in designated space on the surface parking lot. Marked handicap stalls we be placed near the elevators once installation is complete.
As well, a helipad on the parkade rooftop to accommodate the STARS' new AW139 helicopter will be operational when the elevators are installed. Teri Myhre, V-P of Acute Care (West) for the South Zone of of Alberta Health noted, "We wanted to open the parkade as soon as it was substantially complete".
Payment of parkade fees will be fully automated. Drivers receive a ticket from a dispenser when entering. When they leave, they pay for their parking using equipment located on each level of the parkade. Payment equipment will accept cash (coins and bills) and credit cards.
Parking rates in the parkade will be 75-cents per half hour or $6.00 for 24 hours. Patients and visitors can purchase longer term parking for the surface parking lot south of the parkade for $25 per week.
A $112-million redevelopment of Chinook Regional Hospital could not begin until the parkade was completed.