The challenge of rebuilding South Health Parkway remains, but the roadway is again open to traffic.
The northern stretch of the roadway that runs through the Three Rivers Health campus between Broadway and Millard streets was re-opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday (August 5th).
Interim CEO William Russell worked with two members of the hospital’s maintenance staff, Luke Parsons and Charlie Shane, to remove barricades that had been in place since the road was closed on May 18th because of its deteriorated condition.
During an on-site interview, Russell said, “We’ve done an intermediate repair on the road. We’re happy to get it back open for the community. It isn’t fixed. It’s going to be awhile before we get it fixed. We still don’t have all the details worked out on that.”
Russell began work in Three Rivers a week-and-a-half ago, taking over the reins from Matt Chambers who resigned, effective July 31st, to return to home territory in Utah after 12 years as president and CEO of Three Rivers Health. Quorum Health Resources (QHR), the hospital’s management firm, is providing Russell as an interim CEO on-site while a national search is conducted for a permanent CEO.
In commenting on the South Health Parkway situation, Russell said, “Clearly, this road – to the community – was a fairly caustic issue and we needed to attend to that fact.”
Russell indicated that how to accomplish the needed reconstruction of the road is still unresolved. He said, “It’s still going to cost 75 to 80-thousand dollars to fix the road properly and we don’t have it. We don’t have a long-term solution to that yet.”
Russell said, “This hospital has been under some capital constraints the last couple of years. Health care is a changing environment so we’ve got some other pent-up capital needs as well. You have to maintain your infrastructure, but, in the long run, I’m not sure how we’re going to get resolution.”
Voters in the five governmental jurisdictions that are part of the Three Rivers Health Authority soundly defeated a proposed two-mill tax levy for capital improvements in balloting on May 5th. South Health Parkway was one of the projects targeted for funding with money from the millage.
For additional insights regarding the South Health Parkway re-opening, click here to listen to the interview (5:22) with Interim CEO William Russell, conducted by Bruce Snook of the River Country Journal.