The foundations of the bridge building of the new Joan XXIII Hospital are already visible
The works of the new Hospital Joan XXIII are already visible to all citizens. Currently, the operators are working on the foundations of what should be the bridge building, which will link the Emergency room block –known as C– with the new main building, which will be called CORE. The phase in which we find ourselves now is that of previous works, the one that will allow everything to be ready to be able to build the central building starting next year. In addition, in this phase, the accesses have also been adapted to facilitate the works and the archaeological studies have been carried out, with some surprises included, such as the discovery of an old mine. The cost of this first phase amounts to 11 million euros, which were awarded with two contracts at the beginning of the year.
«When considering building a new hospital next to an existing one, the works are technically more complex. First, because we can find things that are not foreseen or that are not documented and, secondly, because the main objective is not to interfere with the normal activity of the center”, explains Martí Ballart, investment and asset manager at CatSalut, who adds that “ That is why it was decided to put out to tender the works prior to the construction of the main building. To have everything ready."
In order to connect building C with the main one, two actions are proposed. On the one hand, the bridge building and, on the other, a vertical communications core that will unite the floors. Currently, with the naked eye, you can see the works of the gallery of the bridge building, through which all the electrical supplies and installations will pass. For all this it has been necessary to carry out a series of previous actions, such as the new road access to the Emergencies. In this case, the ambulances access the place through the road between the staff car park and the patient car park – the parallel to Joan Pau II street. "In addition, the evacuation circuits have also been reformed and an alternative medium voltage line has been installed, which serves building C," explains Assumpta Teixidor, manager of the health and socioeconomic field of Infrastructures of the Generalitat.
Currently, access on foot to the Emergency Room is the same as before the start of the works, although it is expected that, when the construction of the bridge building begins, the door will be moved to the side of the block, that is, near the Francolí building. It should be noted that the bridge building will be built perpendicular to the emergency room, in the direction of Guillem Oliver street.
The provisional heliport
Another of the actions that have been carried out in this phase of previous work has been the change of location of the heliport. Until now it was just in front of the ER, which was incompatible with the works. The new provisional heliport is located about 800 meters from the hospital, on land that the City Council has ceded and that had been the municipal nursery. "The new equipment is expected to come into operation at the beginning of next year," explains Teixidor, who adds that the infrastructure is prepared to accommodate night flights, "although the process is slower."
Once these previous works are all ready, it will be time to build the bridge building. It is a building with a ground floor and two floors, as well as a roof installation. On the ground floor there will be an emergency reception and admission area, which means that access to this unit will be one of the main novelties of the health complex. On the other hand, on the first and second floors, there will be medical offices and meeting rooms.
The forecast with which the Department of Health works is to finish these previous works during the third quarter of next year, about four months later than expected, taking into account that the calendar marked the end of this phase in August of 2023. "There are always setbacks in works of these characteristics, and even more so after a pandemic," says Martí Ballart, CatSalut's investment and asset manager.
The idea is that during the second quarter of next year, and parallel to this first phase, the tender for the second phase, the thickness of the project, which includes the construction of the main building, will be launched. «We would like to be able to award the works at the end of 2023, which would allow us to link the two phases. Finish one and immediately start the other”, adds Teixidor.
According to those interviewed, the new Hospital Joan XXIII may come into operation throughout 2026. «We dare not say that in January, but throughout that year. Equipping an enclosure with these characteristics is not easy and will take time”, adds Ballart.
On the other hand, the forecast was that the new hospital will cost a total of 170 million euros. All of them are guaranteed, through a multi-year budget, committed by the government of the Generalitat for a long time. But the rise in prices and the difficulty in finding supplies – factors derived from the war in Ukraine – have also ended up harming the Tarragona healthcare project, considerably increasing the costs of the works on the new Joan XXIII Hospital.