At a glance
• Work on The Memorial Hospital new site delayed Monday.
• Two contractors must receive city licensure before drilling for foundational piers can begin, said Dave Costa, Craig community development director.
• Drilling and pier installation to support foundation estimated to last between four and six weeks.
• TMH also waiting for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to guarantee loan for new hospital.
Plans to begin the next stage of constructing a new hospital temporarily stalled Monday.
Workers were scheduled to begin drilling holes today for piers that will support the foundation for The Memorial Hospital's new facility.
However, that plan "came to a halt" Monday, said Dave Costa, Craig community development director.
The city has a partial permit ready for TMH, which would allow drilling work to begin for pier installation. Drilling would mark the next step in building a $42.6 million hospital that voters approved to pay half of in November 2007.
"The dilemma (TMH has) is that their people have not followed the licensing criteria for the city of Craig," Costa said.
A plumbing contractor responsible for the tap application at the site must first receive licensure through the city. Similarly, a structural concrete contractor has yet to receive city licensure.
The latter contractor hasn't passed the city's structural concrete exam.
"I cannot authorize (drilling for piers) to happen until we get the licensing squared away," Costa said.
Attempts to get ready for drilling have been ongoing for 12 weeks.
"Now that it's come down to the time to get it done, everyone's scrambling," Costa said.
The delay wasn't good news to Costa.
"I would love to get this project started," he said.
On Monday, George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, said that he hadn't heard drilling could be delayed because the contractors haven't received city licensure, adding that he hadn't spoken with the project's superintendent since early that morning.
Rohrich plans to meet with the supervisor with the company overseeing the project today to see if drilling can begin as planned.
"I hope so, but we'll see," he said.
Monday wasn't the first time drilling has been delayed. Plans to install the piers have been put on hold in the past, Rohrich said, because "mobilizing forces and supplies" haven't gone according to plan.
The hospital could now face another temporary setback.
"I have expected (drilling to begin) before now," he said. "We just need to move through the process one step at a time (and) get it done."
Once work gets started on the site, however, Rohrich predicts remaining steps will go smoothly.
"When drilling starts, the work will never stop," he said.
More than 200 piers will connect the foundation to bedrock beneath it. The work is estimated to last between four and six weeks.
In the interim, TMH hopes to receive final word from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that the agency will commit to, in essence, co-signing its loan.
Rohrich said he expects to get HUD's response by the time the piers are installed.
Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org