Harbor-UCLA Medical Center begins emergency room expansion project

Construction began today on a $322-million emergency room project at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

The Surgery/Emergency Replacement Project will increase the size of the existing emergency room from 25,000 square feet with 42 surgery bays to about 75,000 square feet with 80 surgery bays, according to county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district includes the hospital.

The project also adds 190,300 square feet of new hospital facilities housing 16 surgery suites, adult and pediatric triage and a new entrance, lobby and waiting area.

Other features will include a new heliport and 544-vehicle parking structure.

Construction at Harbor-UCLA, plus the new MLK Hospital and South Health Center projects are expected to generate 8,200 jobs in the community, according to Ridley-Thomas spokesman James Bolden.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the budget for the project last September, with initial financing from tax-exempt commercial paper and federal stimulus funds.

Ridley-Thomas said the hospital will maintain all services and patient care during the construction period.