NMC to reconfigure entrance to campus

Additional parking in plan

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Staff Writer

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‘Better access to care creates more utilization.’

- Jonathan Billings, NMC vice president

ST. ALBANS — Northwestern Medical Center (NMC) is seeking to relocate Crest Road and add parking spaces within its campus.

The hospital has applied with to the Vermont District 6 Environmental Commission for an Act 250 permit amendment approving the changes.

The plan is to move Crest Road, the campus’s eastern-most entrance off of Fairfield Street further east, explained NMC Vice President of Planning and Community Relations Jonathon Billings.

The move will make for a safer intersection at the rear of the hospital, where pedestrians, employee parking and Crest Road come together. “It will prevent near misses,” said Billings.

NMC is hoping to add 125 new parking spaces, with new lots at the corner of Crest Road and Fairfield Street and next to the NMC conference center. Additional spaces also will be added to the existing front parking lot.

The parking expansion “is driven by growth in utilization of services … particularly outpatient care,” said Billings.

Crest Road also provides access to the hospital’s new Urgent Care facility located in the Cobblestone Building on the southernmost part of the campus

The pulmonology and cardiology clinics also are seeing more patients, as is the outpatient lab. “Better access to care creates more utilization,” said Billings.

Some of the new spaces will have electric vehicle charging stations, although the exact number is still being determined. “We have staff with electric vehicles and we see them (electric vehicles) in the community,” said Billings. “Since we’re putting in parking, let’s put in the infrastructure for what could be the future.”

Stormwater runoff from the additional impervious surface will be directed into NMC’s existing stormwater retention pond. NMC is currently working with St. Albans Town and other landowners to improve stormwater treatment at the intersection of Route 104 and Fairfield Street generally, he explained. The current proposal “allows for that long-term work to continue,” said Billings.

NMC’s permit request is a minor application and will be approved by the District 6 Environmental Commission unless there is an objection from a qualified party before July 18.