Car parking will be easier to find at Port Macquarie Base Hospital by the end of 2019 if all goes to plan.
That is when the first stage of the $11.5 million car park expansion at Port Macquarie Base Hospital is expected for completion, weather permitting.
The 113-space staff car park, on land between Toorak Court and the northern end of the hospital car park, marks the first phase in the parking expansion.
Some $5 million was allocated in 2018-19 NSW Budget to progress the project.
AW Edwards will construct the staff car park.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams and Mid North Coast Local Health District Governing Board chairperson Warren Grimshaw turned the first sod on the project on Thursday, May 2.
Mrs Williams said the 113-space car park would be designated for staff, which would free up space in the main car park for visitors.
She said the community had raised the issue of hospital car parking on many occasions.
"I can completely understand that it's frustrating when you are visiting the hospital and you have to drive around and find a car park," Mrs Williams said.
She said as the hospital had expanded, so too had the need for additional car parking.
"We have been planning this project for some time and to see work start is very welcome indeed," Mrs Williams said.
The car park work begins with the removal of a couple of old buildings on part of the site and progresses from there.
Boom gates will be located at the car park entrance off Toorak Court.
Mr Grimshaw said it was critical to have the car parking expansion project underway.
He said car parks were so important to the operation of the hospital.
The next stage of the car park expansion will involve reconfiguration of parking opposite the Wrights Road main car park entrance.
That should be completed by the end of 2020.
The entire project will deliver more than 300 extra car parking spaces.
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