St. Tammany Parish Hospital Sky Bridge
Sky bridge to connect St. Tammany Parish Hospital with Surgery Center
By Leslie J. Ackel
With the St. Tammany Hospital’s Millennium Project pushing full speed ahead, construction of a Sky bridge has begun. Hospital officials say the bridge is a critical component of the facility, linking the main hospital campus to the new commercial office complex (Charles A. Frederick Jr. Medical Office Complex), and the Covington Surgery Center. The bridge will open later this year.
Commercial real estate development is continuing to grow around the hospital. Ancillary medical offices and medical retail outlets are quickly expanding and looking to find permanent locations that are close to the medical hub in Covington.
Peter Egan, who operates Egan Medical, a retail medical equipment store on Tyler near 8’th Street in Covington, is an outspoken fan of the sky bridge. “I think the sky bridge is a terrific idea. Since the hospital renovations began, the amount of foot traffic from STPH employees trying to get from one side of Tyler to the other has increased tenfold. The sky bridge both will serve as an added safety enhancement for hospital workers crossing the street, and will also be good for motorists who won’t have to stop as frequently to allow pedestrians to cross the street.”
“This project is all about what is best and most convenient for our patients, physicians and staff—easier access to a greater variety of procedures and convenient, easy access to the hospital,” Patti Ellish, STPH president and CEO said. Ellish has been overseeing the Millennium Project that has enlarged the hospital three times in size.
Melissa Hodgson, spokesperson for St. Tammany Hospital added that “the new sky bridge’s purpose is to provide hospital and Frederick Complex patients, physicians and staff with a safe, comfortable and convenient way to cross busy Tyler St.”
The enclosed, climate-controlled sky bridge will include technological infrastructure, which will seamlessly connect the surgery center complex to the hospital’s health information technology, diagnostics and laboratory. Pneumatic tubes will run through the bridge connecting the Covington Surgery Center information offices to the hospital for speedy delivery of patient lab results.
The structure is designed to encompass 6,380 square feet and will rise 27 feet above Tyler Street, spanning a total of 208 feet across. A 165-foot long hallway will connect the hospital’s main campus by use of a three-story elevator and stair tower.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s sky bridge guidelines maintain that these structures be built at a minimum of 20 feet above street elevation for safe passage of large trucks.
In keeping with the architecture of the newly renovated main campus hospitals exterior, the sky bridge exterior has been designed using stucco, metal and glass panes as the dominant elements on the exterior surfaces.