Tenders for a replacement hospital for the Waterford are expected to be called next year with completion in 2023 or 2024.
Separate from the project is the construction of two berms to increase the capacity of a retention pond to protect the Health Sciences as well as the new mental health and addictions facility.
Rennies River and O’Leary’s Brook pushed flood waters to within inches of the basement of the Health Sciences during Hurricane Igor in 2010, so government says the extra protection was required in either event. Government assures that the changes will not have any bearing on water flow upstream or downstream.
Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker says if there are cost over-runs, they will be the responsibility of the builder in the Public-private partnership.
He says it’s not the traditional type of build because the contractor does not get paid until they hand over the keys to government.
A parking garage with the capacity of about 500 will be built as parking is often a nightmare even now.
Deputy Mayor Not Buying Berms as a Solution
One of the most outspoken critics of the new Waterford project has been the deputy mayor of St. John’s.
Council has indicated it is happy that the provincial government is moving forward with a new facility, but that it should not be built on a floodplain.
Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary says they are maintaining a firm stance on the issue of building in a floodplain. She says the construction of two berms will not solve the entire problem.
She says the berms are not a be-all end-all solution to flood mitigation in an area prone to flooding.