The original parking deck, as pictured below in March 2019, at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center did not have enough parking spaces to accommodate the facility’s growth in visitors and staff.  (U.S. Army photo by Sara Corbett)
The original parking deck, as pictured below in March 2019, at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center did not have enough parking spaces to accommodate the facility’s growth in visitors and staff. (U.S. Army photo by Sara Corbett) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District recently awarded a contract for the expansion and construction of a new parking deck at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Columbia, S.C.

The project includes the vertical expansion of an existing parking garage from three-levels to four, construction of an adjacent four-level parking deck and other associated site improvements. Once completed, the two garages, located next to the Mental Health and Psychiatry building, will be connected forming one large parking deck bringing critical parking to the patients and staff who use the valuable services provided at the medical center.

The expansion is designed to increase patient safety while also enhancing access to the main hospital with the much-needed parking spaces. The new garage will address the significant parking gap on the campus by providing the spaces needed for the Medical Centers patients, employees and visitors.

The new parking deck will provide an additional 320 parking spots for the Medical Center, bringing the total number of spaces to just under 650.

Currently, only a single parking garage exists at the Columbia Veterans Affairs Hospital. With the addition of the new structure, patients and staff will be much closer to the critical facilities housed in the Medical Tower.

“There is a parking shortage, but this project will provide additional parking while also being within close proximity of the medical center,” says Robert Sorenson, International and Interagency Support program manager for the Charleston District. “It is going to be the only parking deck on the campus and when it comes to the veterans, you want to give them the easiest possible access to these potentially lifesaving services.

The design for the parking deck is already finalized, and following a 90-day submittal approval process, during which the pre-cast concrete will be prepared, work will begin at the site. A focus of both the VA and USACE is to ensure spaces remain available during the construction.

“Charleston District is partnering with VA Columbia leadership to communicate and minimize disruptions caused by the parking deck and surface lot shutdowns,” Sorenson said. “The first 2 levels of the existing parking deck will be reopened once the vertical expansion is finished while the contractor completes the non-structural build-out of the new level construction. East Woodland Trail Drive will be shut down for 21 days during this period to enable the use of a crane to erect the pre-cast concrete.”

Construction projects like this one, enable the VA to provide top notch care for our nation’s heroes and the Charleston team is proud to be able to help.