Mercyhealth places final beam in topping out ceremony

Updated: April 19, 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – More than 8 million tons of steel make up the frame of the new Mercyhealth Women and Children's Hospital and today the final beam was put in place.

Before the topping out ceremony, doctors, nurses, and the community were asked to sign the beam.

About 42,000 dump trucks’ worth of earth have been moved and enough concrete used to stretch from Rockford to Madison. Now, crews say we’ll really see progress as the building is closed in. Once complete, it will house 192 inpatient beds, haves specialty services for heart, brain, and spine patients, and have the highest level neonatal intensive care unit.

“This Women and Children’s hospital will prevent people from having to travel to Chicago or other places to get whatever they need in women and children’s services so it's an exciting project and we're very excited about it,” says Mercyhealth CEO Javon Bea.

Construction is right on time. A project this size would normally take about four and a half years to complete but this project is only going to take about three years.

All the work should be done by the end of 2018. If everything remains on schedule, the first patients will be treated at the hospital in January 2019.

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Construction is in full swing as Mercyhealth builds its new riverside campus just off I-90 and with it will come hundreds of jobs.

We'll still have to wait about a year until Mercyhealth even starts looking to fill those positions. The hospital says it plans to hire more than 400 new workers to fill all those jobs at the new hospital campus.

We can expect to start seeing job postings early next year. CEO Javon Bea says it will take at least six months to fill those positions. He says they'll be moving into the new building in the fall. It's scheduled to open in January 2019.