The Honorable Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, received a construction project update brief from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District, Commander, Col. Christopher Hussin and the District's engineering team working on the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center here, Nov. 27.

The Army Corps is completing construction on a hillside stabilization project at the rear of the facility after being called upon to do so in 2016 by the VA, when the area encountered severe slide damage following heavy rains.

In Feb. 2017, an emergency abutment was put in place to help stabilize the remaining soil and prevent further sliding.

"We're really excited to be able to help the VA with what's going on here at Muskogee, we have a great partnership with the team here," stated Hussin.

Work began on a permanent retaining wall May 31, 2018.

"We have a strong and cooperative working relationship with our partners at the VA here in Muskogee," added Project Engineer, Capt. Garrett Anderson.

The newly constructed area not only stabilized a parking lot and loading dock area, but will also house a backup generator for the facility, which allows the VAMC at Muskogee to continue operations during times of normal power interruption.

Currently, the nearly $8 Million construction project is 97%, phase 1 complete and phase 2 is scheduled to begin in March of 2019.

According to the VA, the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System (EOVAHCS) serves more than 47,000 Veterans in 25 counties in eastern Oklahoma and since 1923, the staff has been dedicated to providing quality health care to Veterans in eastern Oklahoma.