Beam lifting ceremony marks milestone for YRMC progress

Placing the beamPhoto by Randy Hoeft/Yuma Sun

Placing the beam

Jorge Lopez (left), general foreman for McCarthy Building Companies, and Tyler Hunt, project engineer, also for McCarthy, put the final beam in the new Yuma Regional Medical Center Emergency Department into position to be hoisted into position during a ceremony Thursday morning. The new Emergency Department is expected to open in October. McCarthy is the general contractor for the project.


Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 5:55 pm | Updated: 10:05 pm, Thu Mar 10, 2016.

By Rachel Twoguns, @RTwoguns

The very last beam was put into place at the highest point in the framework of the new Emergency Department at Yuma Regional Medical Center Thursday morning, marking a major milestone in the construction of the building.

YRMC said the beam represents construction on the new Emergency Department recently reaching its tallest point. Preceding the beam lifting ceremony, the beam itself traveled around Yuma and has been signed by various members of the community.

Positive, handwritten messages adorned the beam, from encouragement to gratitude for the hard work completed by the team at YRMC.

Lifting the beam into the sky and delivering it to the construction site’s pinnacle point was also one of the last jobs of the tower crane that has been at YRMC for a little over a year. The crane itself is one of the tallest machines of its nature to ever visit Yuma, and is scheduled to be taken down Friday, with the process taking two days to complete.

The long-anticipated Emergency Department is expected to open this fall and will double the current Emergency Department bed capacity. Two additional shelled floors will be included to provide room for future expansion and inpatient rooms as Yuma continues to develop and an underground floor provides room for a new cafeteria in the future.

There will also be a new front entrance and lobby as well as interior nurse stations, ambulance bays and two elevated helipads. According to YRMC, the helipads can hold two Black Hawk Helicopters that can have a wingspan each of 54’ and be 65’ in length.

“This is a project that was in the board of directors’ plans for the last five years,” said Mario Jauregui, who is a member of the YRMC Board of Directors. “We sort of put it (off) until the end because we wanted to do it justice. We know that our community deserves the very best, and what we have now is the very best.”

Juaregui also said that thus far, the construction process has been smooth sailing. “We have not run into any issues. We’ve contracted the services of McCarthy Construction and they are wonderful. There were very minimal disruptions to services, so it’s been a seamless operation right from the beginning. It’s pretty much within budget and on time.”

It was noted by Jauregui that the upcoming Emergency Department will be much larger than the one in current operation. The new Emergency Department will be close to 55,000 square feet compared to the 15,000 square feet in the prior facility.

“With that (space) our doctors, our nurses, our support staff and our technicians will be able to perform the functions that they need so that our customers, our patients, our community receives the care that they deserve,” Jauregui said.

“As you may know, during the winter months it is not uncommon for us to set up tents outside of our Emergency Department because we just did not have the space,” Jauregui added. “We were doubling and tripling with people in rooms, and that is not the best scenario. With this, we will not have any of that and we will be ready for our winters. We will have enough space to accommodate all those needs and it’s not just to meet the needs of today but also to meet the needs years and years down the road.”


Facts about the McCarthy crane

Courtesy of YRMC. Source of information: John Kovesdy, project engineer with McCarthy Building Companies, Inc

How tall is the crane?

• 169’ feet of working height (that’s how high it can lift), approx. 200’ to the top of the Tower Top.

How long is the crane’s arm?

• 210′

How many steps up the crane are involved?

• 9 ladders at 19’ 4” each

How long does it take for Ray (the crane operator) to make the climb each time?

• “10-15 minutes, a bit longer on Mondays,” Kovesdy joked.

What other buildings has it helped to construct?

• Two Jobs in San Diego. It started its career in Colorado.

Where is it heading after Yuma?

• The next project is currently unscheduled. “There’s a potential for it to go to Tempe, Arizona, or a project in San Diego.”

What is the weight of the counterweight?

• 54,675 lbs

How many pounds can the crane lift?

• 11,680 lbs at the tip, 22,000 lbs (10 Metric tons) closer to the base

What can be found on the top level of the crane?

• The cab is on the top level along with electrical panels, cable reels, counterweights and winches.

How long does it take to assemble/disassemble the crane?

• It depends on the location, but typically 2 days.

Will the crane’s foundation remain at YRMC?

• The 26’x26’x10’ concrete pad will remain under the building, to be used if needed for future expansion.