While town officials move ahead with plans to extend Main Street east beyond the Beeline Highway, administrators at Payson Regional Medical Center are deciding exactly where that road will lead.
The Payson Town Council cleared the way for the project last month when it rezoned a 3/4-acre lot at 803 S. Beeline Highway. That rezoning allows for the development of East Main Street, giving the community direct access to the hospital campus instead of the roundabout routes now available along north and south Ponderosa Street.
PRMC's administrator Russell Judd said he's working with Gail Tovey of Rim Living Limited to draft a road design that will serve a new hospital addition and the Tovey's multi-family housing development.
"(Husband and wife team Gail and Gayle Tovey) are trying to submit something to the town by the end of November, as far as the preliminary design of the street," Judd said Monday.
Town Zoning Administrator Rudy Frost said two options have been presented at this point.
"The first option is to stop the road construction right at the first intersection (at Mariposa Street)," he said. "The second option would be to go through the hospital campus to the Frontier (and Ponderosa) intersection."
To complete the second option, some of the older hospital buildings would have to be demolished, he said.
A time frame for the road construction hasn't been established because the project is still in the design phase. The next step in the project is the development of an acceptable road design.
Once a design is approved and the road is built, Judd said the hospital will begin building an addition to the hospital and a medical office building on the north side of East Main Street. The Toveys will build their development on the south side of the new street.
Judd said he hopes to break ground on the two-story addition by May, which will house more hospital beds on the ground floor and a new obstetrics unit on the second floor.
"Our daily census fluctuates, and in the winter you can expect it to be in the low 40s," Judd said.
"Right now, we have 54 beds, which counts OB and ICU. The reason we need more beds is that if you have a pneumonia patient, you can't put him in the OB unit."'
The new office building will allow hospital executives the opportunity to attract more specialists to the area.
"With the new addition and the medical office building, we'll create a whole new medical campus as Main Street enters the hospital complex," Judd said.