“Parking at Ruby Memorial has been a concern for a long time, and as we’ve experienced growth in our cancer, heart and vascular, neuroscience, and pediatrics service lines, it has become an even bigger challenge. The garages and the lot are being built primarily in response to employee feedback. Both garages will be designated for employees, and parking will continue to be free,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said. “By moving employee parking, the garages will allow more of the parking spaces in front of Ruby Memorial Hospital to be available for patients and visitors.”
One garage will be located off Willowdale Road near WVU’s Milan Puskar Stadium and the other will be off Van Voorhis Road near WVU’s Mountaineer Station. Both are scheduled to be ready for occupancy by 2020.
Construction on the Willowdale garage, a six-story structure that will contain 810 spaces, began this month. The building will include two elevators and a covered pedestrian bridge to cross over Willowdale to Milan Puskar Stadium. Vehicles will be able to access the garage off Valley View Avenue and Irwin Street.
The first phase of the project involves moving utility poles and widening Willowdale to create a center turn lane into the new garage. A new traffic signal light will also be added at the interchange of Willowdale and Valley View for traffic control.
The roadway widening is expected to start in April 2019 and finish in June 2019.
Phase 2, the actual construction of the garage, is expected to be finished in August 2019.
WVU Medicine officials expect there to be traffic delays, some off-hour lane closures, and an extensive amount of truck and equipment traffic during the span of the construction work near Willowdale.
More details will be announced about the other garage at a later date, as it is still in the planning stages.
The new parking lot, designated Lot J82, will open after the Medical Center Apartments are demolished. The lot should create around 385 new spots. Construction on the lot is scheduled for later this month. Weather permitting, it will be available for use by the end of this year.