The site director at the Foothills Medical Centre says the centre is doing what it can to improve access for patients and families during construction of a new parkade.

Patients have called the construction chaotic, as they search for parking spaces or a place to drop someone off. Many say they are late for appointments because the signage is poor.

At a construction update Wednesday, site director Michael Suddes said patients have been given the closest parking spots, and a shuttle continues from McCaig Tower. Plans are also in place to improve wayfinding on the site.

Michael Suddes

Michael Suddes, site director at the Foothills Medical Centre, said patients have been given the closest parking spots during construction and some staff and physicians have been asked to park off site temporarily. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

"Definitely the parking locations have changed, but we've tried to give patients and families the best parking available as close to where they need to be," he said, adding that some staff and physicians have been asked to park off site temporarily during the construction.   

Construction activity on the 2,000 stall parkade is ramping up, with a large crane expected to arrive Thursday to install precast concrete. Only three trucks delivering concrete will be allowed on site at any time, Suddes said. 

"We're always looking to improve their experience during the construction period," Suddes said.

Kim Fudge and Donna Ince

Patient Kim Fudge, who called the parking situation "horrible," waits for a ride outside the Foothills Medical Centre Wednesday with her aunt Donna Ince. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

Some patients are frustrated by the situation.

"It's just horrible," said Kim Fudge, waiting outside the hospital Wednesday with her aunt. Fudge said she relies on her uncle to drop her off and pick her up for her appointments.

"There's just way too much trouble to look for somewhere to go and park," she said.

"It's not anything a cancer patient should have to worry about. When you come in today, am I going to find somewhere to park? I don't think the added stress should be placed on the patient."

Suddes said the construction, which began last fall, is on time and the new parking garage should be complete in 2019.

Foothills Medical Centre Construction

Construction on a new parking garage at the Foothills Medical Centre began last fall and is expected to be completed in 2019. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

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With files from Andrew Brown Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).

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