What’s new at site of largest construction project in Sioux Falls history

This piece is presented by Journey Group.

The explosion of activity on the southeast corner of 69th Street and Louise Avenue is impossible to miss.

Land that was farmland not long ago is being reshaped into a futuristic campus for Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

On any given day, between 60 and 90 workers converge on the site, which is home to the largest single construction project in Sioux Falls history. Eventually, that number will climb into the hundreds.

Overseeing all of it is Aaron Eich, project manager for Journey Group, the general contractor.

Eich’s work is guided by lean practices that Journey used from the start of the project.

“Intensive virtual modeling helped guide the project, which allowed the designers to quickly create 3-D models and allows owners to make faster, well-informed decisions,” Eich said. “We also take a lean approach to the entire project, which affects how we schedule and helps us maximize our time and resources.”

The project is making solid progress, he said. A road has been built, and utilities have been installed, so crews can access the 20-acre active construction site from the newly built segment of Ralph Rogers Road off 69th Street.

“It’s a high-traffic area with materials coming in, and that removes a lot of constraints in getting materials to the project,” Eich said. “We also have the first lift of asphalt on the parking area, and that allows us a place for workers to park as well as a site staging area. That was the main push for fall, which was a great success, and then we moved into footings and foundations.”

Foundation work will continue into early 2018. Utility work will wrap up soon. The next major milestone likely will be in early February when structural steel and precast concrete are brought to the site.

Thanks to warming areas, strategic breaks and technology that can keep concrete warm, the plan is to work through much of the winter.

“We’re used to year-round construction, even in South Dakota, so we just make sure we take the necessary steps to keep workers safe and productive,” Eich said.

Construction of the first phase of the Avera on Louise campus, which will include a 24-bed hospital as part of a 260,000-square-foot medical complex, is scheduled to be done at the end of 2019.

“Journey is doing an outstanding job,” said Dick Molseed, Avera’s executive vice president of strategy and governance. “We couldn’t be more pleased. Things are coming together on time and on budget. Avera on Louise is going to be a wonderful addition to this region in two years when it’s completed.”

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What’s new at site of largest construction project in Sioux Falls history

The explosion of activity on the southeast corner of 69th Street and Louise Avenue is impossible to miss. Here’s a closer look.

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