The Veterans Administration will soon purchase nearly 36 acres along Brownsboro Road to build its new medical center.
VA officials were previously considering two sites for the new hospital, which is expected to be at least 800,000 square feet, and had approved environmental studies for each. The announcement this week that the VA has made its final selection comes with assurance from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki that the VA will continue monitoring issues affecting area residence.
VA officials say the preferred Brownsboro Road site near the I-264 interchange has plenty of room for the 110 bed hospital that will include centers specializing in surgery, mental health and primary care.
Residents have voiced their concerns that the hospital will create traffic congestion and some were concerned property values would drop.
Congressman John Yarmuth said he spoke with Skinseki Thursday.
“What he assured me was that they would continue to be on top of it, to continue to work with the neighborhood to make sure those and other issues are resolved,” Yarmuth said.
Road modifications are currently underway to alleviate some of the traffic in the area, but it’s unclear how much infrastructure development will be needed to keep the area free of heavy traffic and to satisfy area residents.
When the VA opens, which is expected in 2018, it will serve over 60,000 patients and is expected to cost $883.2 million.
VA’s project leader Bob Morey said the community will have the chance to weigh in during the master planning process, which is expected to begin as soon as a purchase is made.
“We are working to develop a community action group to have a formalized way to get their input and also to communicate information to them,” said Morey.
The first meeting including the public could be next month, he said. The community action group will likely communicate with VA officials throughout the planning and construction process, he said.
“Because whether they like us or not we’re going to be their neighbors,” said Morey. “And we've always prided ourselves as being good neighbors.”