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Riverside Smithfield Hospital Update: Below-Ground Steelwork

February 18, 2024
RSH Rebar

Construction crews are working from dawn until dusk to install underground steel reinforcing bars — known as rebar — for the new Riverside Smithfield Hospital (RSH), a critical stage of the project before any vertical steel can go into place.

Rebar, which dates back to the Roman Empire in masonry, greatly increases the strength and durability of building foundations. At RSH, intricate networks of bars of varying diameters are going in as deep as six feet beneath the Earth’s surface.

In fact, crews will place more steel below ground than above it, according to Russell Parrish, an architect and senior project manager.

“This is one of the most unheralded parts of a project like this,” Parrish says. “It all gets covered up by concrete so people never see it again, but it’s where everything else takes off from. It’s some of the most complex and important work we will do.”  

Construction of the 50-bed acute care facility near the intersection of Routes US-258 and VA-10 remains on track, with scheduled completion in late 2025. 

Ongoing rebar installation will be done in seven major phases; concrete foundation pours will follow soon afterward in each area. The first pour was done in January, and the last is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.

Once the concrete fully cures, or hardens, crews can begin to erect above-ground steel columns using a 300-foot crane assembled onsite. That should happen in the first area – around the future building’s elevator shaft – by the end of February.

“We know everyone is excited to see that part,” Parrish notes. “We’re just being very careful to do all of this essential prep work correctly.”

To follow progress on the new Riverside Smithfield Hospital, visit riversideonline.com/rsh.